Northern Ireland's leading pro-life group, Precious Life, enlisted the support of Assembly Election candidates to make abortion a key election issue. Mary Muldoon from the SDLP, and the DUP's Jeffery Donaldson and Iris Robinson attended the launch of the pro-life group's "NOT IN MY NAME" Campaign at Stormont yesterday morning. They unveiled Precious Life's Campaign Billboard in opposition to the Department of Health guidelines on abortion that were issued in January. Precious Life said they were "greatly encouraged" by the cross-party support for their campaign. Precious Life Director Bernie Smyth said: "I'm greatly encouraged by this display of cross-party support. It shows that, after more than 30 years, opposition to abortion is still one of the few issues that unite the Unionist and Nationalist parties. I have also received letters and telephone calls from many other candidates who, if elected, have pledged to call on the Department of Health to change their guidelines." Bernie Smyth warned that the draft guidelines are an attempt to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland 'through the back door.' "These guidelines state that each Health Trust must ensure that their patients have access to abortion. This means all hospitals will be required to carry out abortions. It could even mean the Department facilitating the opening of abortion clinics. This will effectively bring abortion-on-demand into Northern Ireland through the back door" she said. Bernie Smyth concluded "We are distributing tens of thousands of leaflets warning of the dangers contained in the guidelines, together with a Submission Form for the public to sign asking the Department of Health to change their guidelines and give protection to our unborn children and their mothers. This campaign will send out a clear message to the Department that if they attempt to introduce abortion here, our politicians and the people of Northern Ireland say 'NOT IN MY NAME'."
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