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Belfast: campaigners welcome abortion review

 The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has welcomed Mr Justice Kerr's decision today in the Belfast high court on the Family Planning Association's judicial review on abortion in Northern Ireland. It will contest any appeal by the FPA. Mrs Betty Gibson, chairman of SPUC in Northern Ireland, said: "The pro-abortion lobby, represented in this case by the Family Planning Association, wants to make abortion widely available in Northern Ireland and claims that the law here is unclear. "SPUC's case is that the law is perfectly clear. The law on abortion in Northern Ireland gives considerable protection to unborn children which is what the overwhelming majority of people here want. "As Mo Mowlam, a former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, once put it when she complained about the strength of opposition to abortion here: 'It's called democracy.'" John Smeaton, national director of SPUC in Britain and Northern Ireland, who was present for the judgement in Belfast, said: "We in SPUC will continue to do everything we can to represent the will of Northern Ireland's people by arguing against the FPA's case. "We are confident that the overwhelming majority of people in Northern Ireland support the recommendation made by SPUC in the following draft clause in a Northern Ireland Bill of Rights: 'Every child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection before as well as after birth.'" SPUC are the principal interveners in the case which was before Mr Justice Kerr. Present today in Queen's Bench Court number one were Mr John Smeaton, SPUC's national director for Britain and Northern Ireland, Mrs Betty Gibson, chairman of SPUC Northern Ireland, Mr Liam Gibson, SPUC's Northern Ireland development officer, and Mr Paul Conrathe, solicitor.