Northern Ireland

Bishops criticise holding of abortion seminar

Positive pregnancy test
Image caption The Catholic Bishops of NI deplored the holding of the conference on abortion

The Catholic Bishops of Northern Ireland have criticised the holding of a conference dealing with abortion.

The bishops said they "deplored and opposed" the two-day conference which was organised by the Family Planning Association.

They said the conference was designed to undermine the rights and welfare of children in the womb and "normalise what is unacceptable".

The FPA said it was "an accredited medical conference to update health professionals".

Director of FPA NI, Dr Audrey Simpson, said that "thousands of women from northern and southern Ireland travel overseas for an abortion every year".

"This accredited medical conference is to update health professionals with the latest developments in abortion provision.

"Pre and post abortion care is a basic health right and this conference ensures women receive the highest quality advice and services from health professionals responsible for their care and well-being."

The All-Ireland Conference on Abortion and Clinical Practice ends on Friday.

In their statement the bishops said: "Every human life is worthy of protection from the moment of conception to natural death.

"The dignity of the human person is absolute and inviolable. We call on public representatives to express their opposition to this conference and to promote and defend a legislative environment which respects the inherent dignity of life in all its stages.

"A conference which promotes themes such as Manual Vacuum Aspiration and Issues in Late Abortion is an affront to the dignity of the human person.

"It is gravely immoral. Respect should be shown in all circumstances for the life and well-being of both the mother and the unborn child."