Hundreds of Christian health professionals have written to Northern Ireland secretary Julian Smith to protest the “harmful” and “fatal” liberalisation of Northern Ireland’s abortion laws.
Quoting extensively from the Bible, and referring to traditional Christian beliefs, the health workers said: “Our consciences demand that we not be silent.”
“We appeal to the UK Government not to impose this unwanted legislation,” they said.
“As Christians we believe that the 6th Commandment is binding upon all of humanity – ‘You shall not murder’ (Exodus 20:13).”
“It is the firmly held belief of many Christians in Northern Ireland that abortion is the unjust taking of human life.”
The letter was sent on 26 September 2019 and signed by 835 “Doctors, Nurses, Midwives and other Health and Social Care Workers.” They said the new legislation would bring about “the most liberal abortion laws in Western Europe.”
Abortion is currently illegal in Northern Ireland unless a woman’s life is at risk, or there is a serious risk to her mental or physical health. If the Executive is not convened by 21 October, abortion will be imposed on Northern Ireland.
Health workers urged the restoration of the Executive in the letter, which was also sent to permanent health secretary Richard Pengell. They invited people to reflect on the treatment of vulnerable people.
“We appeal to the wider society to consider and reflect on the humanity and value of every life, from conception to death, that the weakest and most vulnerable would be protected and cherished by all,” they said.
The health workers addressed issues surrounding abortion.
“Compassion and provision” were proposed as better alternatives to abortion, ideally “within the supportive network of a family and a community.”
They also expressed sympathy for women who have had abortions.
“We desire that those women who have been left with psychological wounds as a result of abortion would be able to access psychological therapies for healing, and we, as fellow sinners, would point them to Jesus Christ, the Great Physician,” they said.
Belfast priest Fr. Paddy McCafferty, a well-known pro-life advocate, expressed support for the letter.
“Thank God for those medical personnel who refuse to participate in the evil of abortion,” he wrote in a letter to The Irish Times.
“They are truly prophetic, in their stand and witness, against the prevailing culture of death, in Ireland and across the world.”
Picture: File photo dated 15/08/14 of a nurse with a stethoscope. (Lynne Cameron/PA)