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Alliance Party and complex abortion issue

Published 23/02/2016

The recent Alliance Party amendments on abortion sought to address two elements of a very complex and sensitive issue by introducing the universal principle of individual choice.

These legislative amendments were contrary to the advice of leading expert clinicians, who have indicated that these difficult and tragic circumstances can be managed more sensitively and compassionately with an agreed robust set of guidelines.

History has already demonstrated that the principle of guidelines can work, but they must be free from political interference.

However mistaken in their approach, David Ford and Stewart Dickson are genuine, honourable people, whom I believe were sincerely attempting to provide a solution for families facing terrible trauma.

However, there are others within the Alliance Party who would seize the tragedy and trauma of these families for cheap political gain, using the same in pursuance of a broader agenda - to liberalise abortion along the principles of the 1967 Act. An Act that facilitates, on average, 200,000 abortions a year, the majority of which are now, effectively, "lifestyle choices".

In fact, some of these prospective candidates are on record stating they would seek to legislate further to provide greater unrestricted choice options.

David Ford is right in his assertion that abortion is about morality and conscience. It is far too important and complex to allow others to use a narrow element of abortion and the corresponding family pain and anguish as a Trojan horse. So, when candidates come seeking your vote, make sure you get the full story on their position.

MARK WILLIAMS

Belfast

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