Invoking 1998 agreement to back abortion '˜is abhorrent'

An anti-abortion group has hit out over the latest calls to change Northern Ireland's abortion law in the absence of a devolved government.
Bernadette SmythBernadette Smyth
Bernadette Smyth

Precious Life said an open letter published on Sunday was a “shocking and outrageous attack” on “the democratic process”.

Signed by 173 people in all, including Alliance, Sinn Fein and SDLP members – as well as British parliamentarians and ones from the Irish republic – it called upon “our respective governments to act to ensure that the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement is upheld and the human rights of the women living in Northern Ireland are respected”.

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It also said it hopes the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference meeting on Thursday can “agree a pathway forward”.

In response, Precious Life director Bernie Smyth said: “In 2016, the Northern Ireland Assembly voted against any change in the laws, so this must be respected...

“It is also abhorrent that these pro-abortionists are attempting to use the Good Friday Agreement to legalise the killing of our children. Meddling with the Agreement could undermine and endanger the peace process here. The spirit of the Good Friday agreement was all about respecting devolution, and was founded on the principles of full respect for and equality of all rights, and of freedom from discrimination for all people in Northern Ireland.

“Our unborn children must never be discriminated against. Their most fundamental right – the right to life – must always be respected and upheld.”