Lord David Steel, the British peer responsible for introducing the Abortion Act of 1967, which open the door to abortion on demand in Britain, has called for Northern Ireland to fall into step with the United Kingdom in regards to abortion policy and to abandon its current laws which protect mother and baby from abortion.
"I find it absolutely extraordinary that Northern Ireland doesn't, even in a small way, attempt to catch up with where we were in 1967," Lord Steel stated. He added, "I think politicians [in the House of Commons and the House of Lords] look slightly askance at those from Northern Ireland, and say: 'How can you possibly represent human rights in that territory if you allow your colleagues in Northern Ireland to constantly turn their backs on a sensible law?'"
While Lord Steel would push abortion into Ireland, there are fortunately others who disagree with him. Baroness Nuala O’Loan hit back at Steel’s statement by pointing out the 1967 legislation in England had not worked out so well for the British.
“We are getting babies aborted who have cleft palates, a club foot," Baroness O'Loan said. "We have seen the scandal of forms that are pre-signed to give consent to abortions. So clearly the 1967 act is not working in England. To translate it into Northern Ireland law would not, I don't think, be wise." Bernadette Smyth of Precious Life in Northern Ireland similarly objected to Lord Steel’s call. “David Steel needs to face the horrible reality that, because of the Abortion Act 1967, Britain continues to lag behind Northern Ireland’s glowing standards of maternal health.”
Research has shown that Northern Ireland is one of the safest places for women and babies and it consistantly has lower rates of all morbidities and mortality associated with legalised abortion in Britain Ms. Smyth added, “Because of our pro-life laws, women and babies are safer in Northern Ireland. David Steel MP should be taking direction from our MLAs who have the best interests of women and their children at heart by upholding the rights of both mother and child.” Due to the Abortion Act in England, more than 200,000 babies are aborted each year in England and Wales.
Following Lord Steel’s call, Ms Smyth made clear the importance of the upcoming vote in Northern Ireland to the cause to protect life. “It is vitally important that the people of Northern Ireland come out and Vote Pro-Life on 5th May.”
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