By Hilary White

BELFAST, July 31, 2008 ( – The United Nations has issued a report demanding that Northern Ireland drop its legal protections for unborn children. The UN Committee for the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), notorious for its abortion militancy, told Northern Ireland, “The committee also urges the state party to give consideration to the amendment of the abortion law so as to remove punitive provisions imposed on women who undergo abortion.”

Northern Ireland’s leading pro-life group Precious Life reacted to the directive saying that the CEDAW committee “is obsessed with abortion and has a long history of bullying countries where abortion is illegal or restricted.”

Bernadette Smyth, Director of Precious Life said, “Now they are trying to bully Northern Ireland into legalising abortion.”

Transcripts of CEDAW meetings with national representatives are typically peppered with this type of demand issued to those remaining countries, from Poland to Malta to Fiji, who retain legal protections for the unborn. CEDAW claimed that Northern Ireland’s abortion law has “detrimental effects” on women’s health, despite the fact that Northern Ireland has the lowest rate of maternal mortality in the UK.

“If CEDAW were genuinely concerned about women’s heath,” Smyth said, “they would acknowledge the devastating physical and psychological harm caused to women who undergo abortion.”

Smyth said the CEDAW report should be “rejected out of hand” and said, “Any legislation regarding abortion in Northern Ireland should be a matter for our Assembly.”

The CEDAW directive comes as a group of six abortion activist MPs attempt to push the provisions of Britain’s Abortion Act on the province through a proposed amendment to the Labour government’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill. None of the MPs, who are among Parliament’s best known abortion zealots, are representatives of Northern Ireland.

But of those MPs and MLAs who actually represent Northern Ireland, 90 percent and all four main Churches have made it clear repeatedly that there is no interest in the province to expand legal abortion.

“No-one in Northern Ireland voted for Diane Abbott, Evan Harris or any of the other pro-abortion extremists in Parliament and yet these MPs seem to think they are our colonial masters and that we must do as they say,” Liam Gibson, Northern Ireland organizer for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said this week.

Other than in Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom allows the abortion of children for “social” reasons up to 24 weeks gestational age and up to the time of birth in cases of “severe” abnormality. The UK currently suffers one of the highest abortion rates in Europe. 

Baroness Paisley, wife of the former First Minister of Northern Ireland, told the House of Lords last November, “Northern Ireland will not be bullied by political activists whose ideas and actions have brought about the massacre of more than seven million innocent unborn children in the years that this [Abortion] Act has been in operation.”

Bernadette Smyth concluded, “We will not be bullied by CEDAW or Westminster. Precious Life, together with other local pro-life groups, will be meeting with the Assembly’s All Party Pro-Life Group to develop a united strategy against these latest abortion threats to Northern Ireland.”


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