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NI abortion sentence ‘unduly lenient’ says Christian crackpot

NI abortion sentence ‘unduly lenient’ says Christian crackpot

Bernadette Smyth, above, founder of Northern Ireland’s largest anti-abortion outfit, Precious Life, has expressed anger over an ‘unduly lenient’ three-month suspended sentence imposed by Belfast Crown Court on a 21-year-old woman who bought drugs online to terminate a pregnancy.

Smyth is reported here as saying she was “very concerned about the judgement” and was:

Very hopeful that this case will be reviewed. We are in a crisis situation here, it’s a human crisis and we, Precious Life have sent to the PPS for NI (Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland) our concerns calling for this case to be brought back to the appeals court.

But Precious Life has no right to appeal the sentence. Only the director of public prosecutions can ask the Court of Appeal to review whether the sentence was unduly lenient.

The human rights organisation Amnesty International said it was “appalled” by the conviction. Patrick Corrigan, AI’s Northern Ireland director, said:

A woman who needs an abortion is not a criminal – the law should not treat her as such. This tragic case reveals that making abortion illegal does not stop women in Northern Ireland needing or seeking terminations.

Those who can afford it travel to England for the treatment they need. Over 1,000 women make that journey from Northern Ireland every year.

Unlike the rest of the UK, abortion is only permitted in Northern Ireland if a woman’s life is at risk or there is a permanent or serious risk to her mental or physical health.

A court heard on Monday that the woman, who cannot be named, was 10 to 12 weeks pregnant when she obtained the tablets in July 2014.

Two of her housemates reported her to police after they found blood-stained items and a male foetus in the bin of the house they shared in south Belfast.

She was was convicted after admitting two offences – procuring her own abortion by using a poison, and of supplying a poison with intent to procure a miscarriage.

The Public Prosecution Service said the pursuance of the case had been in the public interest. A PPS spokesman said:

The test for prosecution has two elements. It involves an assessment as to whether the available evidence provides a reasonable prospect of conviction, and also whether prosecution is in the public interest.

In this particular case it was decided, having carefully considered all of the relevant evidence and information, that both elements were met.

A range of factors were relevant to the balancing of the public interest, including the important fact that the law in Northern Ireland makes the conduct in question a serious criminal offence, in respect of which a conviction carries the potential of a significant custodial sentence.

Smyth herself had a brush with the law in 2014 when she was sentenced to to 100-hours of community service and a handed a restraining order for harassing the previous head of the Marie Stopes clinic, Dawn Purvis. She later won an appeal against the sentence.

A lengthy rant – headed “Where is the moral outcry?” –  has appeared on the Precious Life website, and was probably penned by Smyth, who is:

A very highly respected Christian who has tirelessly campaigned worldwide on behalf of the unborn for over 17 years.

It reads, in part:

As the leading pro-life group in Northern Ireland which has been fighting for the rights of unborn children for nineteen years and has managed to keep abortion illegal in Northern Ireland, Precious Life cannot in conscience accept this court judgment. Our legal advisers have written to Mr Barra McGrory QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, asking that this matter be referred back to the Court of Appeal.

Many people are struggling to understand why we have taken this step. Our reasons are as follows: An offence under Section 58 is punishable with imprisonment for life or for any shorter term. An offence under Section 59 is punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

The core purpose of sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 is the protection of unborn children. The unborn baby boy in this case is the silent victim, the little person, who has been pushed aside and forgotten in this media furore.

It is utterly heartbreaking, distressing, and a great injustice in today’s society, that a young woman would be driven to buy abortion pills, have an abortion, and dump her unborn baby in a bin. It is just as heartbreaking, distressing, and a great injustice that a woman would walk into an abortion centre or hospital, lie on an operating table, and have her unborn child ripped piece by piece from her womb and discarded, no matter how much that abortion cost and no matter where that abortion happened.

In this case, the young woman was taken advantage of by those anonymous predators who hide behind various sites advertising illegal abortion pills and taking money from vulnerable women who feel they have no other choice. But Precious Life is also thinking about that little baby who lost his life and was thrown into a bin like a piece of rubbish.

Crying out about the neglect and injustice inflicted upon this little baby doesn’t make us cold, cruel, or wicked. We are simply doing what others may be too ashamed or too afraid to do. We are seeing it for what it is and calling it what it is: a crime.

We believe a three month jail sentence suspended for two years is unduly lenient, considering the nature of the criminal offence committed ….

By passing such a lenient sentence we believe that Judge McFarland undermined the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 and undermined the seriousness of the crime of killing an unborn child. We are asking for this case to be reviewed because we fear that this judgment will set a dangerous precedent for future cases of illegal abortions in Northern Ireland. It is not about wanting to punish the young woman, but to honour the law and the protection of every human life.

We need to look at the bigger picture. What will this sentencing mean for women and unborn children in Northern Ireland? Far from deterring women from committing the crime, vulnerable women will not seek and receive the help and support they badly need to overcome the difficult circumstances they find themselves in, but would instead fall into the trap of going online and buying and taking illegal abortion pills.

It will happen again and again. It will become mundane and lo and behold, we have abortion on demand. The shock and horror of finding an aborted baby in a bin, a bag of clinical waste, or sewer pipe, will be gradually washed away from the people’s conscience.

Bernadette Smyth and Precious Life have worked too hard and sacrificed too much to let this happen. That is why we are not accepting this judgment. We will keep fighting to ensure that the value and dignity of every mother and every unborn child is recognised and protected in Northern Ireland.

Hat tip: PPS and BarrieJohn

26 responses to “NI abortion sentence ‘unduly lenient’ says Christian crackpot”

  1. Newspaniard says:

    Sorry, but I decided that life was too short to spend it reading this deranged woman’s rant. The UK should have “one law for all” displayed in 10 foot letters somewhere prominently so that the NI Assembly can read it every day, so they can think about their barbaric legislation and not give oxygen to this Smyth loony nor people of her ilk.

  2. Brian Jordan says:

    All other considerations apart, what about this nonsense:
    “She was was convicted after admitting two offences – procuring her own abortion by using a poison, and of supplying a poison with intent to procure a miscarriage.”?
    How can someone be charged with “supplying” something to themselves?

  3. andym says:

    The fanatics might have shot themselves in the foot here. No one with any decency will have anything but sympathy for the poor woman convicted. They’ve only served to highlight the gross unfairness of NI abortion law, I see unintended consequences.

  4. gedediah says:

    Offences Against the Person Act 1861.
    Hello… 21st century here……

  5. sailor1031 says:

    Obviously then, since she’s all for sterner punishments of lawbreakers, she’ll have reconsidered the leniency shown to her in her own case and ask the judge to reimpose sentence on her?

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-33317597

  6. Ivan says:

    It’s coming to something when you can say Donald Trump said something more moderate.

  7. sailor1031 says:

    This from an interview with her by the Belfast Telegraph in August 2014:

    BT. So what do you think of a woman who has had an abortion?

    Smyth. I love her before she has had the abortion and I love her after she has had the abortion. But I can’t give her back her baby. I find it very difficult to sit with a woman who is broken, who just wants her baby back.

    BT. So you don’t judge a woman who has had an abortion or who is considering a termination?

    Smyth. Why would I judge someone who has had an abortion? I feel sad for that woman. I feel that one day she will wake up and regret it.

    I would like her to know that I will be there for her. I am here because I want to help people who find themselves with no other option.

    But judging fine now in 2016.

  8. barriejohn says:

    Precious Life was founded in 1997 by Bernadette Smyth after viewing a picture of a baby killed by abortion.

    That’s all you need to know about her really, but it does actually get worse:

    By exposing the lies surrounding abortion; by educating the public with the truth about abortion; and by campaigning against abortion – we are saving babies, mothers, and indeed this country, from the silent holocaust that is brutally destroying 50 million lives worldwide every year.

    http://www.preciouslife.com/about-us

  9. John says:

    I have left the following message on Smyth’s facebook site https://www.facebook.com/PreciousLife.Ireland/:-
    ‘There is a very simple answer to this dilemma. You guys, along with Ms Smyth and her organisation can meet all the life-time costs of all the unplanned births in Northern Ireland. Only a hypocrite would condemn women for having abortions and then fail to make adequate provision, possibly as much as £500,000 for each unplanned birth. So, are you prepared to put your money where your mouths are or are you just hollow empty vessels?’
    It will be interesting to see if they respond?

  10. harrynutsak says:

    It’s time to kick these people out, send em to the fucking vatican where they can live their stupid retarded theocratic bullshit right fucking there with the sleazy pope to officiate and wave his genitalia from a balcony for them.
    I’m sure they’ll feel much better and so will we for having got rid of them.

    Or we could grab them by the genitals with a pair of vice-grips and see how they like someone else saying how their bodies should be doing things according to the Holy Pliers which we worship and they’d better too or we’ll grab em, see.

  11. Broga says:

    “Smyth is reported here as saying she was “very concerned about the judgement” ‘.

    I’m very concerned that Smyth belongs to the same species as myself.

  12. Trevor blake says:

    1,500 individual people reporting abuse. A fine of one hundred and twenty eight million euro paid not by the church but by Irish tax payers. Unmarked mass graves with just under 800 bodies in them. Six decades of clergy rape and covering up clergy rape. Magdalene laundries. This is the record of Roman Catholic compassion for women and children.

    Spitting contempt for these leaders who rape and lie – and twice over for the “good Catholics”who fund them generation after generation.

    I’m an angry atheist. But I’ve never raped a child. Tell me again who has the moral high ground.

  13. Smokey says:

    Is there any “devout Christian” that doesn’t want to send us back to the dark ages?

    Christian extremists want to send us back to the dark ages.

    Muslim extremists also want to send us back to the dark ages. Though in many ways, they’re already there.

    The major difference between Christianity and Islam is the Enlightenment. But it seems as if Christianity is trying to reverse that.

    I’m sure they miss the Spanish Inquisition.

    Crazy fuckers.

  14. Angela_K says:

    It is bad enough the crazy NI law forced this poor woman to induce an abortion herself. Add to that the trauma of being hauled before the courts, then sentenced just because she wanted control over her own body. Then along comes some batshit christian lunatic demanding a tougher sentence. It is religious nutters like Smyth who need locking up.

  15. L.Long says:

    Once again in a supposedly civilized intelligent country, we find xtian Sorry-Ass Law making life miserable for all!!! The xtians don’t mind as they believe life is suppose to be miserable!!!

  16. barriejohn says:

    Yes, it’s not enough that they feel the need to follow Bronze Age rules – they think that everyone else should as well!

  17. Lucy1 says:

    Heard Woman’s Hour today. Apparently she was done under a law which applies everywhere. You cannot’procure your own abortion’. Even in the rest of the U.K.
    Let’s hope the case will make people look at current law.

  18. Angela_K says:

    @Lucy1. That would mean the “morning after pill” is in a grey area.

    And when their god does it: miscarriage, it is OK. Maybe their god should be in the dock, he/she/it is the biggest abortionist of all.

  19. Lucy1 says:

    @Angela.

    Yes, it is, outrageous! I think, in law, the morning after pill may not abort, merely prevent..Ho Ho, as I said, let us hope they look at the offences against the person law…..

  20. Lucy1 says:

    I went with my daughter for morning after help. Excellent, non judgemental and easy…except it cost money, £26 or thereabouts I think, not for everyone. Why not?

  21. Marcus says:

    “I’m very concerned that Smyth belongs to the same species as myself.”
    She doesn’t Broga. You and I are both Homo sapiens.She is a member of the Homo defectus species.

  22. Broga says:

    @Marcus: Thanks. There is certainly one hell of a qualitative difference between the way Smyth thinks and that of a human capable of reasoning.

  23. barriejohn says:

    Homo Defunctus

    Any more suggestions?

  24. barriejohn says:

    The Morning After Pill contains hormones to prevent ovulation, so doesn’t cause an abortion:

    http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/contraception-guide/Pages/emergency-contraception.aspx

    God itself aborts billions, of course.

  25. barriejohn says:

    The bloody woman’s everywhere:

    https://youtu.be/uNnnPiUuQQM

  26. Paul Cook says:

    If this is so abhorrent and there is a god, why then do males have to produce so many millions of sperms to fertilise one egg. And, moreover, why do so many pregnancies end in termination or abortion – naturally (if such a word explains it).