The usual uproar surrounding the very word ‘Abortion’ commenced about five milli-seconds after the announcement that Marie Stopes was opening an abortion clinic in Belfast.
Firstly, I would like to clarify my own position on this extremely touchy subject, which is that whilst I dearly wish the mothers-to-be would not seek to terminate the new life which is inside their bodies, I hold the belief that their bodies are their own to control, and if they wish to terminate that unborn life, so be it! My reasoning has nothing to do with any religion, or indeed a belief stemming from any religion; it is just that if that future child is indeed unwanted by its mother, a life which is begun in hate, rejection and loathing bodes badly for that life.
I listened to the voice of Jim Allister this morning as he placed his views on record that the proposed Clinic has no place in Northern Ireland because of the Province’s culture, and this is maybe where I part company with Mr. Allister, partly because of the many statements by the T.U.V. which encourage ever closer links and ties with the mainland of the British Isles. I would say to Mr. Allister that you cannot pick and choose which parts of the United Kingdom’s Laws should be held to a higher standard in Northern Ireland than on the mainland. Abortion is a fact of life in England, Wales and Scotland, why should there be any difference in the Province of Northern Ireland? The Law is more strictly controlled in Northern Ireland, is much more restrictive, and the question which should be asked is simply ‘Why is Northern Ireland so special?’ Is life, or future life, looked upon as more precious than in, say, London, Bristol or Arbroath? I would also ask Mr. Allister if he likes being of one mind with Sinn Fein on this, or any issue of individual judgement or morality?
I am a great believer in having one set of laws for everyone, with no special dispensation or caveats for ‘certain areas, cultures or creeds’. If we all have to obey the same Law, then the same facilities, legal and lawful, should be available to all the Subjects of the Crown, wherever that Rule pertains!