Belfast Telegraph

Pro-lifers: 100,000 in NI saved by block on 1967 Abortion Act

By Claire O'Boyle

Pro-life campaigners claim 100,000 people are alive today because abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland.

The figure, an estimate based on termination rates across the rest of the UK, comes as pro-choice activists say almost half of young people were unaware abortion was outlawed here.

A report to be launched today by new pro-life movement Both Lives Matter aims to change the debate on abortion.

Spokeswoman Dawn McAvoy said: "The debate around abortion is in danger of becoming polarised by those only concerned with the unborn child on the one hand and those solely concerned with the rights of the woman on the other. The reality is that both lives matter.

"There are people alive in Northern Ireland today who would not have been born if the 1967 Abortion Act had been introduced here.

"Using a statistically cautious approach, we estimate there are 100,000 people alive today who would not be had we introduced the 1967 Abortion Act."

Baroness O'Loan said: "There is an urgent requirement at a time when heartrending cases are being extensively utilised by those seeking to diminish legal protection for the unborn, to be more focused on recognising and providing for the needs and care of both mother and child. Both Lives Matter is an excellent response to that."

Meanwhile, Alliance MLA David Ford added he was disappointed his Bill, proposing abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality, will fall due to the collapse of the Assembly, but said he will submit it once again if re-elected.

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