Northern Ireland Pro-Life Group Backs New Abortion Amendment to HFE Bill
by Steven Ertelt
October 6, 2008
London, England (LifeNews.com) — The leading pro-life group in Northern Ireland says it welcomes a new amendment to the HFE bill in the British Parliament that won’t go as far as another one MPs may consider. The new amendment extends abortion to Northern Ireland only if its legislature approves legalizing it.
The amendments are likely to be debated during the Report Stage of the HFE Bill in October or November.
Pro-abortion lawmakers had previously indicated they would attach an amendment that would extend the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland — making abortion legal despite over 40 years of pro-life laws protecting women and children.
The pro-life group Precious Life tells LifeNews.com the new amendment would extend the abortion law only if the Northern Ireland Assembly approves allowing abortions — something considered highly unlikely.
The group says Frank Field, Labour MP for Birkenhead tabled a counter-amendment on Friday to that effect.
Precious Life has been running a postcard petition campaign since January calling for Westminster MPs to respect the pro-life ethos in Northern Ireland and not override the democratic process by attempting to impose abortion there.
Director of Precious Life, Bernadette Smyth, welcomed the new amendment.
"If passed, this new amendment will ensure the democratic process in Northern Ireland is respected," she told LifeNews.com. "This new amendment is exactly what our postcard petition has been calling for. We welcome it and call on all Westminster MPs to support the new amendment."
In October 2007, the Northern Ireland Assembly unanimously passed a motion opposing the legalization of abortion in the province.
In May 2008, the leaders of the four main political parties in Northern Ireland – Ian Paisley, Gerry Adams, Mark Durkan, and Reg Empey – took the unprecedented move of sending a joint letter to all Westminster MPs, stating the strong opposition across the community to any move to impose abortion on the province.
The letter said the law on abortion in Northern Ireland should be a matter for the Assembly only.
Related web sites:
Precious Life – https://www.preciouslife.com
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