N. Ireland Attorney General calls for investigation of illegal abortion clinic
BELFAST, October 18, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Attorney General of Northern Ireland has called for a thorough inquiry into how international abortion giant Marie Stopes came to be allowed to open an abortion facility in Belfast while abortion remains outlawed in the province.
Bernadette Smyth, head of the leading pro-life group in Northern Ireland Precious Life, told LifeSiteNews.com that she is “very confident that the justice system in Northern Ireland would be dealing with the planned criminal activity of Marie Stopes.” She also confirmed that the issue is of first importance to Edwin Poots, the Health Minister.
Smyth said that she and her solicitors met on Tuesday with the head of the Justice Committee to “discuss the way ahead.”
The news comes in response to the surprise announcement by the London-based abortion organization that they intend to offer chemical or “medical” abortion to women in the first nine weeks of pregnancy, claiming that this would be within the law. Pro-life advocates as well as politicians have worked for decades to keep Northern Ireland’s unborn children safe from the abortion industry, and the full provisions of the UK’s Abortion Act 1967 have never been implemented in the province where abortion remains a criminal act.
Liam Gibson, a spokesman for the UK’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children for Northern Ireland, told LifeSiteNews.com that the politicians and officials had been momentarily at a loss as to how to proceed when Marie Stopes made the announcement. Gibson told the Belfast Telegraph today that the point of the facility in Belfast was to force the few legal exceptions open, particularly on the grounds of “mental health,” a strategy that has created virtual abortion on demand in the U.S. and elsewhere.
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“In Northern Ireland, abortions are unlawful if they do not happen to save the life of the mother or prevent grave, permanent damage to the health of the mother and that includes mental health,” Gibson said.
“Marie Stopes only has one objective and that is to bring abortion on demand to Northern Ireland. If this clinic opens it will only be a matter of time before our law is completely overthrown.”
But Smyth said today that, having met with officials of the justice ministry, the “way forward is now clear.” She told LSN that Precious Life will be compiling the evidence that Marie Stopes has flouted pro-life laws in other countries and presenting it to the government’s investigating committee.
“Marie Stopes breaks the law to change the law,” she said. But, she declared, the people of Northern Ireland are not going to stand for it happening there.
Smyth said that she and other groups will be launching a public information campaign from members of the medical and legal professions to expose Marie Stopes and their claims about abortion. She said that the politicians and public officials she spoke with are ready to “work to protect unborn children because our law is very clear here”.
“Abortion is not a health issue,” she said. “Abortion is not health care. It’s important to keep the issue within the justice system and to focus on the fact that Marie Stopes intends to break the law to change it.”
“We’re confident we’re going in the right direction.”
Smyth spoke with LSN today following a “massive protest” organized to send an unwelcoming message to Marie Stopes on the day of their opening in Belfast.
“Up to a 1000 people came,” she said, “which is very good for a Thursday afternoon.”
“It was very encouraging, with people coming from all over Northern Ireland. We have a real plan of action now and people are activated.
“They’re outraged. How dare Marie Stopes come in and bypass our legal system and threaten to start aborting our unborn children.”