The Department of Health in Northern Ireland revealed on 25th January 2017 that 16 abortions were carried out by the Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland during 2015/16.
Bernadette Smyth, the director of Precious Life, responds to these latest figures:
“Precious Life are gravely alarmed by these latest Department of Health figures. Over the past year, sixteen so-called “lawful” abortions were committed by healthcare professionals in hospitals throughout Northern Ireland. This means that there were sixteen cases where healthcare professionals supposedly believed it was necessary to abort an unborn child to save the life of the mother or to prevent a real and serious and permanent or lifelong adverse effect on her physical or mental health.
“Grounds F or G of the 1967 Abortion Act permit abortion if it is immediately necessary to save the life of the mother or to prevent grave permanent injury to her physical or mental health. Only 10 abortions have been carried out under these grounds in England and Wales over the past 10 years. So why have 16 abortions been carried out in Northern Ireland in one year?
“Although serious threats to health can occur during pregnancy, the doctor has a duty to protect both patients: the pregnant woman and her unborn child. There are no medical indications for abortion in a properly managed pregnancy as was made clear by many prominent healthcare professionals speaking at the International Symposium on Maternal Health in Dublin in 2012.
“Questions need to be answered. What medical care was provided to the sixteen women in these cases? Why did the healthcare professionals responsible for their care turn to abortion? Could these so-called ‘lawful’ abortions stand up in court?
“These figures should make us all concerned that a number of women are not receiving the proper ethical treatment they need in Northern Ireland. Precious Life will challenge these figures after the upcoming general Assembly election.”