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Church to take on Ford over abortion; Archbishop slams minister's 'consultation'.

Byline: MIRROR REPORTER

THE head of the Catholic Church in Ireland has accused Stormont's justice minister of an "extraordinary attempt" to exclude pro-life arguments from a consultation on changing abortion law.

Terminations should be allowed in Northern Ireland where the foetus has a lethal abnormality, David Ford's Justice Department has recommended.

It has begun a public consultation on changing the criminal law on abortion.

But in a homily yesterday, Archbishop Eamon Martin said he will be meeting Mr Ford this week and making an "unapologetic defence of the right to life of both mothers and their terminally ill children during pregnancy".

He told Mass-goers at St Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh: "I want to bring to your attention a consultation document from the Minister for Justice in Northern Ireland which proposes that totally innocent and terminally ill babies in the womb will no longer have an absolute right to life, nor the right to all the care and medical support that we would expect and wish for any child or adult who is terminally ill.

"Notwithstanding the extraordinary and unprecedented attempt of the consultation document to exclude pro-life arguments from the debate, when we meet the minister and his officials this week, a delegation from the Catholic Church will be making a robust and unapologetic defence of the right to life of both mothers and their terminally ill children during pregnancy and calling for all the love and support that we as a society can give them."

Mr Ford said he was making a strong recommendation for legislation to allow an abortion where there is no prospect of the foetus being delivered and having a viable life.

irish@mgn.co.uk

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ROW Justice Minister David Ford and Archbishop Eamon Martin

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 12, 2015
Words:291
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