Northern Ireland Justice Minister Pushes Killing Severely Disabled Babies in Abortions

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 17, 2015   |   9:36AM   |   Belfast, Northern Ireland

Justice Minister David Ford said he will ask the Northern Ireland Executive for approval to introduce legislation that legalizes killing severely disabled unborn babies in abortions.

As the BBC reports:

Justice Minister David Ford said he will ask the Northern Ireland Executive for approval to introduce legislation, which then requires an Assembly vote.

However, he said he will not try to legalise abortion in cases of rape.

Mr Ford made the announcement following a public consultation on proposed reforms to Northern Ireland’s abortion law, which is different from the rest of the UK.

Like this pro-life news article? Please support LifeNews during our current fundraising campaign with a donation!

At present, women who have become pregnant as the result of rape, or who are told they are carrying a child that is too ill to survive, are not entitled to a legal abortion in Northern Ireland.

The Pro Life Campaign has said it is disappointed but not surprised at the decision of Stormont Justice Minister David Ford formally recommending changes to the abortion laws in Northern Ireland which would permit abortion in situations where the unborn baby has a life limiting condition.  This move follows a consultation process initiated by Minister Ford some months ago.
Commenting on the decision, Deputy Chairperson of the Pro Life Campaign Cora Sherlock said:
“We would have to take issue with Minister Ford’s claim that this consultation process was careful and thorough.  The fact is that the many stories of families whose babies were diagnosed with terminal illnesses, and their experiences of giving birth to, living with and then grieving their babies were for the most part ignored throughout this entire process.”
She continued: “It has been very clear from the outset that Minister Ford has been moving the process in a particular direction but it is reassuring that a significant number of MLAs in the Stormont assembly will oppose any moves to discriminate against babies with terminal illness if there is a vote on the matter.”
“Last week The Irish Medical Organisation expressed support for the provision of dedicated perinatal palliative care to assist families dealing with a pre-natal diagnosis of terminal illness.  This type of care should be the focus of all efforts to help families as it offers specialised support and assistance, enabling families to meet and spend as much time as possible with their babies, in a supportive environment. That is the only appropriate response to these very difficult situations”.
“A genuinely inclusive society is one where all human life is valued unconditionally, regardless of the ability of the person involved, whether they are born or unborn, or whether they have been given a serious medical diagnosis which means they will require special care and support”, Cora Sherlock concluded.

The the pro-life group SPUC, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, says Northern Ireland’s Justice Minister is misleading the Province over public support for abortion.

SPUC described as “manipulative and misleading” claims by David Ford, the justice minister, that there is substantial public support for a liberalisation of the Province’s abortion law.

Liam Gibson, SPUC Northern Ireland development officer, accused the minister of disregarding the results of his own consultation on the legalisation of abortion for children diagnosed with severe disabilities:

“The minister’s claim that there is substantial support for his plans is contradicted by evidence.

Figures released by the Justice Department show that the the vast majority of those whose responded to the consultation rejected the minister’s proposals. There were 1,500 letters opposed to a change in the law, while only 133 letters supported the proposals. In addition, there was a petition of 23,622 signatures and 20,197 postcard delivered to the department.

Mr Ford appears to be determined to disregard public opposition to his plans to allow the killing of unborn children judged to be unworthy of the legal protection given to other babies.

The thousands of people who took part in the consultation to defend the right to life of the most vulnerable of unborn babies will not simply go away. We will ensure that the politicians in the Assembly will hold the minister to account.”