The Department of Health has failed in a new bid to stop the complete withdrawal of government guidelines on abortion in Northern Ireland.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn children (SPUC) had brought judicial review proceedings and Lord Justice Girvan ruled that the sections on counselling and conscientious objection were unclear. As a result he ordered that the guidance be withdrawn completely and that position was upheld in court yesterday.
According to Lord Justice Girvan, 'There were aspects of the counselling section and the conscientious objection section that the court considered did not represent the correct legal position. They were significant portions of the guidance and the effect of the errors that the court sought ot identify in the judgement made the guidance as issued as a whole misleading and requiring reconisderation. I'm not persuaded that one should view the document as complete self-contained separate issues. This guidance requires to be withdrawn for reconsideration because two important sections of it require reconsideration.'
The right to life is a fundamental right, even for the unborn child, and all those who are pro-life will be watching this issue with great interest.