By John Smeaton, executive director, Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)
Today in Northern Ireland’s Parliament Buildings, Stormont, a coalition partnership of politicians from Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Britain and Europe stressed the vital importance of not decriminalising abortion in the Republic of Ireland and of upholding the 1861 Offences against the Person Act, sections 58 & 59, which prohibit abortion.
The coalition included Jim Wells MLA [Member of the Legislative Assembly], Danny Kennedy MLA, Paul Givan MLA, Pat Ramsey MLA, Jim Walsh a member of the Irish Senate, along with Ian Paisley Junior MP, Jeffrey Donaldson MP and former MEPs [Members of the European Parliament] Dana Rosemary Scallon and Kathy Sinnott, and pro-life leaders Bernie Smyth, of Precious Life, and Liam Gibson of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. There were messages of support from Edwin Vassallo MP of Government Party of Malta, from British Parliamentarians, Lord David Alton, Lord Windsor, and Fiona Bruce MP, and from European parliamentarians Luca Volonté MEP, and Diane Dodds MEP.
The message from the meeting of politicians was:
Under the 1861 Offences against the Person Act, sections 58 & 59 ban abortion in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The role of Government is to uphold the Law.
The weakest and most vulnerable in society must not be systematically dehumanized by catchy slogans, clever marketing, slick advertising and aggressive lobbying.
Senator Jim Walsh stated that abortion is barbaric. Jeffrey Donaldson MP, said the first duty of a politician is to protect the vulnerable and no one is more vulnerable than the unborn. Ian Paisley Jnr. MP, stated that Dr Ian Paisley (senior) fully supported this core group initiative.
Pat Ramsey MLA said that the Social Democrat and Labour Party is a pro-life party and defends the right to life of the unborn. Paul Givan MLA, stated that the pro-life position unites communities and Sinn Fein [another Irish political party] must reflect on their opposition to legislation designed to protect unborn children. Danny Kennedy MLA, said the pro-life point of view represents the majority. Former MEP Kathy Sinnott said that politicians must move out of their comfort zones to defend the right to life and if a woman’s life is in danger then she should be in a hospital and not an abortion clinic. Dana Rosemary Scallon said that all values are worth defending and at this moment “we must defend the value of life since the fundamental right to life is the basis of all other rights”.