30 November 2015
Evangelical Alliance reponse: Belfast High Court abortion legislation ruling.
Commenting on the Belfast High Court abortion legislation ruling Peter Lynas, NI general director of the Evangelical Alliance, said:
"Regardless of where you stand - abortion is one of the most emotionally charged issues of our day. We seek to approach this issue with sensitivity and compassion. The Evangelical Alliance has the rights, life and dignity of both the mother and unborn child at the heart of their policy on this issue.
"It is for this reason that we refute the assumption that abortion is ever best practice or the default choice of the majority of women in either of these tragic situations.
"The tragic diagnosis of a 'fatal foetal abnormality' is in reality a diagnosis of a life-limiting disability. No medical professional can ever say with one hundred per cent certainty that a child will not survive birth. Sexual crime is a grievous abuse of a woman's dignity and rights. Abortion cannot undo the terrible harm, and tragically creates a second innocent victim.
"Today, in a confused judgment, the Judge ruled that a "foetus does not have a right to life under Article 2", but that "pre-natal life here is given protection under certain statutes. The Court appears to be dictating when the unborn baby has a right to life. At the same time the judge has worryingly reduced a mother to 'merely a receptacle'.
"It is alarming that human rights are being used to end human life.
"The law in Northern Ireland is clear, it has a legitimate aim – to protect the mother and the unborn child. The full impact of this judgement remains to be seen but it may be appealed and any proposed legal changes will likely go before the Northern Ireland Assembly.
"The Evangelical Alliance rejects the false dichotomy that pits the rights of the mother versus her unborn child. We welcome the recent announcement that guidelines for health professionals in Northern Ireland are to be published again soon to clarify the existing law. We have always argued that clearer guidelines are the best way to deal with this difficult issue.
"We advocate for life over a culture of death. Where there is despair we see hope through the provision of world leading personal pathways of pregnancy crisis care, including perinatal hospice care. The women and unborn children of Northern Ireland deserve better than abortion."
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Notes to Editors
The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.