Wales is undermining N Ireland democracy over abortion

Wales is undermining N Ireland democracy over abortion

Colin Hart, above, Director of the UK’s Christian Institute’s has expressed anger over a suggestion that Northern Ireland women wanting abortions should be able to do so in Wales.

Hart noted that both the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Court of Appeal had recently backed the Province’s law on abortion. He said:

Abortion is only allowed in Northern Ireland to preserve the life of the mother. This longstanding position has given the Province one of the most pro-life legal frameworks in the world.

It ensures that the value of human life is upheld and protected by healthcare professionals throughout a woman’s pregnancy.

He added that the Welsh proposals:

Completely undermine democracy in Northern Ireland, with the Assembly having previously voted against liberalising the law.

Paying for women to go over to Wales for NHS abortions shows absolutely no respect for this ruling.

In a consultation document, The Welsh Government notes that abortion is a devolved matter for the Northern Ireland assembly to decide, and states that the issue is not open to Welsh Ministers to change the law on abortion.

However, the Government says it wants to use general health powers:

To enable women who are normally resident in NI, to access termination of pregnancy services in Wales.

The Christian Institute points out the a 2017 report revealed that around 100,000 people are alive today because of Northern Ireland’s abortion laws.

The figure, from pro-life campaign Both Lives Matter, is equal to five per cent of the total population of the Province.

In August, the figure was upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority after investigating a small number of complaints.

Writing for the Guardian last August Elizabeth Wilson said:

It’s a fairly large number, 100,000, but nice and round. Easy to compute. Most of us could even divide it by 10, at a push. Apparently it is this convenient roundedness that led the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) this week to dismiss complaints about recent claims on a billboard that Northern Ireland’s abortion laws have saved “100,000” lives.

In its statement, the ASA said: “We considered that 100,000 was a large, round number that readers would typically associate with estimates” – and was therefore unproblematic.

Funded by a campaign called Both Lives Matter, the billboard prompted 14 complaints, but the ASA decided that its assertion was not misleading – despite the campaign admitting that it is not possible to calculate an exact figure, although its estimate is both “credible” and “conservative”.

It is not just the advertisement that is misleading and offensive, but also the very name of the campaign behind the billboard.

Describing itself as “pro-women and pro-life”, Both Lives Matter is a recent addition to the Northern Ireland anti-choice landscape, where abortion is permitted only if a woman’s life is at risk or there is a very serious risk to her mental or physical health. Fatal foetal abnormalities and pregnancies resulting from sexual crime such as rape or incest are not included.

And yet, somehow, in all its talk of “both” lives mattering during a crisis pregnancy, the campaign fails ever to mention the pregnant woman. What is happening to that person’s life – their body, their dreams, their finances, their mental health – is, for a campaign seemingly more intent on oppressing women than liberating them, nothing more than a word association game meant to draw a provocative parallel with a real struggle for civil rights.

31 responses to “Wales is undermining N Ireland democracy over abortion”

  1. L.Long says:

    ANother bunch of ‘PRO-Fetus’ aholes controlling the women in the name of BABIES!!!!
    Now I will change my opinion IF… the 10000 extra people are given full health care, can have all the welfare food and housing they need for however long they need it. Are all those babies have homes? adopted if needed? Any negative answers and your ‘pro-life’ BS is as true as your BS religions!

  2. Angela_K says:

    “Completely undermine democracy in Northern Ireland”
    That is exactly what religious nutters like Hart, the DUP and the churches have been doing for years.

  3. Bart says:

    Northern Ireland women wanting abortions should be able to do so in Wales and IN NORTHERN IRELAND AS WELL.

    Democracy has been undermined for centuries by the religious powers. And it goes on today. Unelected Bishops in the House of Lords. Terminally ill people suffering extreme physical pain and mental distress because the pious want people to repent in order to achieve “Salvation”. Genital mutilation of children. Prevention of condom use and spread of aids. The horror list goes on.

    Colin Hart is a horrible example of a human being. A bigot. A fool. A shitehawk. A pious bigmouth.

  4. AgentCormac says:

    I don’t understand why Colin Hart is getting his nickers in such a twist – women from Northern Ireland can already access free abortions in England, and Wales is merely following suit. In fact, research suggests around 700 women a year travel from Northern Ireland to England, Wales or Scotland for the procedure.

  5. andym says:

    @ Bart.Funny isn’t it, how their religious rights and freedoms so often involve someone else having to suffer and having no choice in the matter?

  6. Broga says:

    Arrogant twat. He could do something useful and campaign against FGM.

  7. Walt says:

    andym … No. Not Funny. It’s a disgrace upon humanists, securlalists, atheists and all other non believing people that we let this religion based bigotry persist in this day and age.

  8. barriejohn says:

    Broga: Look for that, or circumcision, on their site, and you’ll find nothing, What a surprise!

  9. Broga says:

    barriejohn: We have just watched “Egyptian Journeys with Dan Cruikshank: the death of ancient Egypt.” (BBC 4) Dan describes the frenzied attacks by Christians as they tore down wonderful statues, chipped the faces of those they couldn’t tear down and “scratched” from the walls any image of an ancient god.

    Believers in the old gods were hunted and persecuted by the Christians. They “knew” there was only one god and that was the one they had imagined and any trace of another belief had to be destroyed. However, thousands still flock to see the magnificent remains of the ancient buildings.

    Dan bemoaned the destruction of not only ancient and magnificent buildings but of a culture.

  10. 1859 says:

    I guess when abortion is legalised in the Republic, Mr. (Heartless) Hart will claim that the Republic is undermining the democracy of the Province. But his stance is totally spurious because it has absolutely nowt to so with high-falutin’ democracy – that’s just a scary smoke screen. The real agenda is the religious one – the faithful bigots still want to control the civil right of a woman to decide whether or not to continue with her pregnancy. A woman’s body does not belong to any religion.

  11. 1859 says:

    And I don’t like his pink tie with black dots…

  12. RussellW says:


    I haven’t seen the series. Does it mention the murder of the Neoplatonist philosopher Hypatia by Christian psychopaths?
    I’d recommend the film “Agora” about her life and cruel death.

  13. StephenJP says:

    Broga and RussellW: the Christian zealots have a lot to answer for: Hypatia’s murder for one, but also the closure of the philosophy schools in Greece, the truly shocking destruction of the library in Alexandria, even the abolition of the Olympic Games. That wicked old man Ayatollah Khomeini said “There is no fun in Islam”. There was precious little fun, or indeed learning, in early Christianity.

    On the subject of the original post, I wonder if Hart understands that millions of foetuses are aborted every day through natural processes, because for whatever reason they don’t implant. Do they all get to heaven, even though they haven’t been baptised, or even noticed? I think we should be told.

  14. Broga says:

    RussellW @StephenW: We have only seen the episode this evening. 2,000 years later, I felt sad watching what had been destroyed and lost forever. What is even sadder, I suppose, is that the destruction by ignorant, vindictive “people of faith” is still going on.

  15. RussellW says:


    How the West escaped from the dead hand of theocracy and Muslims didn’t is one of history’s great puzzles.
    Natural abortions are all part of God’s unfathomable plan, it’s obvious.

  16. StephenJP says:

    RussellW: indeed! The likes of Hart must be more perspicacious than even they think, if they can tell the difference between which bits of the plan are fathomable and which aren’t.

  17. RussellW says:


    There’s an interesting book, “The Closing of the Western Mind” It describes the systematic destruction of Greco-Roman civilisation by Christians, they only preserved what could be integrated into Christian superstition. I felt very melancholy reading it, we lost a thousand years of culture.

  18. barriejohn says:

    StephenJP: I posted this “scholarly contribution” (sic) on another thread here earlier today. It’s almost comical.

  19. Cali Ron says:

    Fetuses are not people, so that 100,000 number is off by 100,000. When a catholic priest here’s about an abortion they are saddened because that’s one more possible child they won’t get to molest.

  20. Cali Ron says:

    StephenJP: As an unofficial rare word junkie I am impressed with your use of the word perspicacious. Well done sir. Of course, I am an American and we have a bad habit of butchering the English language, so maybe I’m easily impressed.

    I also heartily agree with your assessment of Christian zealots.

  21. Broga says:

    RusselW: Excellent book. I read it years ago. I find that many people today shy away from “big” books and books with challenging ideas. The junk of the celebrity culture deflects the attention and keeps them passive.

  22. Walt says:

    Meanwhile … this is sickening on so many levels. That catholics flock to and revere such things is beyond my comprehension. That the rcc touts and parades such morbid body parts to thrall stupefied fools is an abomination.

    Saint’s severed arm gets cross-country tour – BBC News

    Just think of the pious uproar if a body part of was paraded in the same way by a non religious group.

    Primitive … as is the whole foundation of the rcc.

  23. sailor1031 says:

    @Barriejohn: I notice the collection baskets are right up front and the “faithful” have to pass both in order to get to this utterly disgusting “relic”. WTF is wrong with catholics? I haven’t seen anything so morbid since I visited the grand panorama display at Waterloo battlefield.

  24. gedediah says:

    Democracy? So, when the pendulum swings and the majority supports abortion on demand, they’ll be all for it will they? No, thought not. Women’s control over their own reproduction is a human right and shouldn’t be determined by a majority vote.

  25. andym says:

    Catherine Nixey’s recent “The Darkening Age” also covers the appalling history of Early Christianity.

    I think I heard on the radio last week that an estimated 98% of all art in England was destroyed in the decades after the Reformation. This was before the Puritan era.

  26. Steve Crosby says:

    Quote “Paying for women to go over to Wales for NHS abortions shows absolutely no respect for this ruling.”

    Maybe that’s because it deserves no respect?

  27. Vanity Unfair says:

    To barriejohn:
    Congratulations on being able to reach the end of the article without exploding. I had to stop halfway through and take the rest later. That this could have been written by a student of philosophy bespeaks either a poor choice of subject or incompetent lecturers. Although, perhaps he has not yet reached the lectures on logic. It reminds me of Wolfgang Pauli’s criticism of a student’s essay that it was so far off that it was not even wrong. I note that comments are not allowed.

  28. Vanity Unfair says:

    Unless it’s a wind-up.

  29. barriejohn says:

    Vanity Unfair: Sadly, it’s NOT a wind-up, but your perseverance should gain you a front seat in heaven!

    Re the “relic”: nothing touches it, so how can those silly little cards (not even a photo of the “saint”), be categorized as Third Class Relics now? They’ve touched a piece of plastic!

    And speaking of relics: congratulations to Barry on reaching another milestone today. Does he have a painting of himself hidden away in his apartment somewhere?

  30. RussellW says:


    Agreed,many people these days expect a link to a one-page Wiki article, they can’t cope with those book thingies.The result is that they have no sense of history as a continuum.

  31. StephenJP says:

    @barriejohn, sorry to react so late. That article from Catholic Culture is very entertaining! These people must have an awful lot of time on their hands to go to such bizarre lengths. And of course we must never forget that there is not one scintilla of evidence for any of their assertions. Every last word of it is made up by men (it is almost always men) sitting in their armchairs.

    @Cali Ron, thanks for your kind words; all the more valued coming from someone whose comments are always as clear and pointed as yours.