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Abortion law: any change poses significant risks

CARE in Northern Ireland appreciates the sensitive and difficult nature of the current debate on the issue of abortion which has been opened up by the consultation currently being run by the Department of Justice.

We are very pleased that the Minister for Justice has confirmed he has no intention of introducing the 1967 Abortion Act in Northern Ireland and accept that only a limited change to the law is being proposed by the department.

With that said, there are significant problems with the proposals being put forward.

Firstly, on the issue of allowing for abortion in the cases of lethal foetal abnormality, we would point out that it is extremely difficult to assess with absolute certainty any case of disability in the womb.

There have even been instances where a diagnosis suggesting a disability has actually turned out to be wrong.

Secondly, allowing abortion, even for only a few cases, simply cannot be contained and there is no doubt it would represent the first step in permitting more lax abortion regulations here, something we are strongly opposed to.

Northern Ireland has a proud heritage of protecting the dignity of human life.

We hope that the Department of Justice and the Northern Ireland Executive will uphold that heritage when they come to consider any legislation which emerges from this consultation.

MARK BAILLIE

Care in Northern Ireland Public Affairs Officer

Belfast Telegraph

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