Men Only: Stormont ‘all party’ Pro Life group revealed

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Social media was ablaze last night with the news of an ‘all party’ ALL MALE ‘Pro-Life’ group at Stormont.

Stormont 'all party' Pro Life group

Stormont ‘all party’ Pro Life group

Chaired by the SDLP’s Pat Ramsey, the group also includes Jim Wells (DUP), Jonathan Craig (DUP), Alban Maginness (SDLP), Mervyn Storey (DUP), Jim Allister (TUV), Mark H Durkan (SDLP), David McIlveen (DUP), Kieran McCarthy (Alliance) and Danny Kennedy (UUP).

Despite having no female representation the group give their main point of contact as Bernie Smyth, currently involved in a court case in which she is accused of harassing Marie Stopes clinic director and former PUP leader, Dawn Purvis.

Stand by for fireworks.

 

 

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  • Mister_Joe

    As someone once cynically remarked, most people like these gentlemen who think they know what’s best for a woman, are totally concerned with the well being of foetuses from the moment of conception until the moment of their birth. Then, the children are on their own.

  • Gopher

    Quick way to settle this put all the options along onto a referendum and run it with the next general election or if that is too soon the assembly election and then the issue is sorted. Don’t think any of the gentlemen above if they were reasonable men could object to that,

  • Mister_Joe

    Gopher, On the face of that one might think that that would be a reasonable suggestion. The problem is that only women can get pregnant. So what does it have to do with male votes?

  • Croiteir

    Revealed? It has been there for ages now. Pretty slow of the mark on this one

  • Comrade Stalin

    This isn’t news (it came up a while ago, when the attempts were made to add a ban on the Marie Stopes clinic to the last justice bill) but it’s good to see it getting covered again.

  • Gopher

    I’m fine with that Joe. Just let the women decide sounds fair enough to me. It is after all their body. I’m sure the electoral office can cope with the logistics of such a referendum. Probably a good idea to have a gay marriage referendum the same time. Once they are done we can take the indecision making taken off useless Stormont and settle future issues with referendum.

    Stormont I see, in the future as just a place to go round in circles on the past parades and the constitutional issue you know the stuff that nobody else is really interested in day to day,while the people get on and govern by deciding where they want John Lewis, whether or not they want fracking and other such issues through referendum. It will be faster, more efficient, less corrupt and more decisive. So I don’t see the problem.

  • Croiteir

    In what way are they on their own? Who leaves them on their own? What does on their own mean?

  • Comrade Stalin

    There is nothing to be settled. The DUP, SDLP and SF are all opposed to abortion as part of party policy. For Alliance and the UUP it is a conscience issue but there are candidates who offer a pro-choice option.

    I’m not one bit happy about this situation but the people have already spoken.

  • Gopher

    When was the referendum on abortion here?

  • Croiteir

    it was in existence before that. And I agree – it is good that they are doing this work

  • chrisjones2

    Why should there be women involved. As the weaker sex they should stay in the kitchen and do what the are told by their betters – that is what God wants

  • MainlandUlsterman

    You couldn’t make it up. Embarrassing for Northern Ireland.

  • Jurassic Parke

    If so-called “sectarian head-counts” aren’t thought conducive to debates over Northern Ireland, why is a misogynist/misandrous headcount acceptable in this case?

  • eireanne

    what woman would want to join that group?

  • chrisjones2

    Aye its impoortant for Irish Unity that we degrade and torture woem in both jurisdictions

  • chrisjones2

    Very often their mother – the one in the Republic for example is locked up now for her own safety having be traumatised by her rapeb then retraumatised by her treatment by bthe State. If the child is born it will be often into dismal or desperate circumstances. The state north and south has a long history on this much of which we are inly starting to unravel

  • Michael Henry

    Bit misleading that title -‘ all party ‘Pro life group when Sinn Fein MLAs are not on it-perhaps the other party’s could not get any of their female Assembly members to sit on this group or maybe they banned females from this all male club-

    Hardly sending out a peaceful law message by having someone up in court for assault as their main point of contact- still- innocent till proven guilty-Wonder if Saintly Bernie will get the shove if proved guilty or will the MLAs on this group put their conscience before the law-

  • Croiteir

    Hardly misleading – it is open to all parties but SF didn’t join it – perhaps they are scared due to the politburo’s treatment of Peadar Toibin

  • Croiteir

    Why wouldn’t they?

  • Croiteir

    Yes – embarrassing that there are people who would even contemplate the horror of abortion

  • Croiteir

    Did He tell you that in a private contemplation?

  • Croiteir

    are you in SF?

  • Croiteir

    When was there a referendum on anything except the GFA?

  • Croiteir

    It may even be born into luxury – the same as the rest of us.

  • I’m Trending on Twitter

    As things stand David Ford is responsible for the ministry in charge of the legislation which prevents women from getting an abortion on the NHS (the DoJ), he should (seeing as he will not be allowed to make progress in changing the law to bring NI in line with Britain) initiate a scheme perhaps administered by Marie Stopes that looks at refunding the cost of abortions for women who have sought out abortions privately using the Stopes referral scheme. Perhaps as a priority look at helping those who have recently had abortions and can provide proof and ensure those in financial need get a bit of help from the state, rather than admit defeat and accept he can do next to nothing at all. I mean if ad hoc funding schemes can be set up for paramilitaries and be administered by the likes of Farset I see no reason why he should not at least attempt to create a similar scheme that helps out women who have been poorly treated by the NI state and its politicians. Let this be a warning to the DUP and Peter Robinson, you lost your seat because you didn’t treat your people right and this is a classic example of not treating your constituents properly for instance would-be unionist voters, women voters, being denied something that they might not necessarily want to go through but would at least appreciate the option – you Mr Peter Robinson and co will continue to lose unionist votes and women voters and votes in general because simply you and your party don’t treat your constituents right, with respect sadly just with contempt it would seem.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Well hardly. Abortion isn’t wanted by anyone but as Parliament recognises, there are circumstances in which it is the least worst option for some people. It is allowed, in carefully controlled circumstances, in almost all liberal democracies. The people who support it cannot be dismissed as savages and have not lost their moral sense. On the contrary, there is something ridiculous about a bunch of men, with no experience of going through pregnancy, seeking to decide the issue without reference to women. I don’t subscribe entirely to the pro-choice agenda – i think the unborn child does come into it too – but to discuss the issue without women is hollow. And clearly we can’t let policy get made by the small minority of ultra-devout conservative religious believers: they are more numerous in NI than in most places but this isn’t the Caliphate or 1950s Alabama.

  • Comrade Stalin

    At the last election the electorate overwhelmingly returned anti-abortion parties. Why have a referendum when the will of the electorate is clear ?

  • Michael Henry

    Peadar did not vote with Sinn Fein policy and was suspended for a few months- but he is back on board again still with his own views-and rightly so-I am on the other scale as I am pro choice for women-

  • Comrade Stalin

    As things stand David Ford is responsible for the ministry in charge of the legislation which prevents women from getting an abortion on the NHS

    Just to nitpick, the Assembly is in charge of legislation (of any kind) and only it can decide whether abortion provision will be liberalized or further restricted. The DoJ is the most appropriate department to bring forward legislation, but that doesn’t mean that it has to. It was assembly members acting alone who attempted to add a clause making the Marie Stopes clinic’s operation illegal, for example.

    he should (seeing as he will not be allowed to make progress in changing the law to bring NI in line with Britain)

    Indeed (because it won’t make it through the assembly).

    Perhaps as a priority look at helping those who have recently had abortions and can provide proof and ensure those in financial need get a bit of help from the state

    Both of those sound more like they would fall into the remit of the Department of Health and the Department for Social Development, respectively. Ministers can’t usurp the areas of responsibility of other ministers.

    rather than admit defeat and accept he can do next to nothing at all.

    I don’t think that’s what he’s doing.

    Let this be a warning to the DUP and Peter Robinson

    Robinson isn’t the slightest bit worried about warnings from liberals and other do-gooders. They’ve never voted for him anyway.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The only reason you don’t have to contemplate it is because women simply get on a plane and go to England to have it done. If that option wasn’t available you’d be having to contemplate the return of the pre-1967 situation where botched abortions was one of the single most frequent causes of death for women aged 18-35.

    This is all about folks such as yourself not contemplating; sweeping a problem neatly under the carpet.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The only work I can see that they’re doing is forcing women to go to England to obtain abortions. I’m not sure in whose book that is a victory. The prohibition on abortion in NI doesn’t prevent a single termination.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Bravo. We should sack the electorate and install another one that will vote for parties you think will run the country better.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sinn Féin aren’t. Their Ard Fheis has debated it several times now and each time they’ve voted to oppose any liberalization of abortion law.

  • Comrade Stalin

    this isn’t the Caliphate or 1950s Alabama.

    You’re sure about this ? Peter Robinson defended powersharing on the basis that it was the only defence against gay marriage and abortion.

  • I’m Trending on Twitter

    All good reasons outlined above for doing absolutely nothing.

    The DOJ should mitigate simply because it can esp due to it being the barrier and Ford and Alliance Party should consider looking at ways to deliver for people rather than make up reasons for not doing stuff. Ad hoc (re)funding arrangements out of DOJ budget could be possible it might not be probable, but at least look at shifting it on from possible to probable and smoking out those in opposition to it just for the hell of it and to be seen to be genuinely trying something innovative to get round the legislative difficulties.

    Abortions aren’t for liberals they are for all sorts of women for all sorts of reasons from all sorts of backgrounds across the political spectrum but Unionism would appear to be acting as the political barrier to change and I would say it will not be lost on unionist-voting women either. People were asked to treat Iris with kid gloves to be sympathetic towards her and her mental health issues, yet normal unionist voters / unionist women needing an abortion can get the boat or plane over to England, you know what, get stuffed Robinson.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The DOJ should mitigate simply because it can

    I tried to explain already. It can’t.

    Ford and Alliance Party should consider looking at ways to deliver for people rather than make up reasons for not doing stuff.

    Why stop at abortion mitigation provisions ? I’d like to see Ford deliver a cure for cancer, deliver safe nuclear fusion, and launch the first manned mission to Mars. None of these things are within his remit, of course, but I’m fed up with all these excuses about how these things cannot be done, I mean what the hell do we pay these people for ?

  • I’m Trending on Twitter

    That is in no way a like for like, his department is the penalising department or overseer of the law that makes it impossible to get an abortion on the NHS; he can’t change the law due to the assembly, but he could mitigate the impact of it by looking at a way that gets a bit of justice back for women who have had to go across the water and pay privately. That is within the realms of the doable, the deliverable, unlike a cure for cancer or mission to Mars. Get real.

  • Croiteir

    If it is their choice why do they want others to pay?

  • Croiteir

    And yet at each opportunity they vote for it

  • Croiteir

    I do have to contemplate it as there are people who wish to devalue life to an option, opposing it is not sweeping the killing of a child below the carpet, the abortion is they sweeping of the problem below the carpet, and a bloody business it is too.

  • Croiteir

    Clearly we can as women voted for them to do precisely that.

  • chrisjones2

    Errr …if its that luxurious and the mother needed an abortion sh would ghet one. This legislation pryes on the poor

  • chrisjones2

    I love you assumption that DoJ is capable of anything except demanding more money And remember that Ford has no legitimate right to be there. He got that as a sop to devolve Justice powers

  • chrisjones2

    Because as in the Irish case they may be poor or refugees

  • chrisjones2

    Nah …I just listen to our (Male) politicians

  • chrisjones2

    No I am just a cynic

  • chrisjones2

    Its an issue of lesser evils. Perhaps incarceration in a childrens home and then being sold abroad to childless Americans is a better policy. The Church might suggest that ….oh hang on ….it did that years ago and has just been caught out

  • chrisjones2

    “Abortion isn’t wanted by anyone”

    Not true actually. Many see it as a human right

  • chrisjones2

    Yeah …..but thats Peter Robinson ….you have seen his Church …….you have seen his Pastor’s ravings ……… and his MLAs need so few votes to get elected that appealing to the nutter religious fringe who believe in a big man in the sky who will solve all their ills is a vote winner

  • Howling Wolfe Tone

    If men had periods; abortion would be a sacrament.

  • Croiteir

    So they make a choice and we have to pay?

  • Croiteir

    Nope – that was well known and practised by families too. All part of the wonderful web and weave of culture that was practised by the state and families at the time. And abortion is never the lesser of two evils, it is the greater to kill than to let live.

  • Croiteir

    True – which is why we need a law to ensure that they do not get away with it.

  • Croiteir

    And they are your God?

  • Croiteir

    Eminently qualified to join then

  • Croiteir

    Abortion preys on the poor – they end up dead

  • Comrade Stalin

    I love you assumption that DoJ is capable of anything except demanding more money

    The DoJ is no more capable of demanding more money than the Department of Health whose minister threatened to resign rather than impose spending cuts.

    And remember that Ford has no legitimate right to be there.

    That’s strange. I seem to remember him being appointed on a cross-community basis by the assembly under the terms of an Act of Parliament.

    He got that as a sop to devolve Justice powers

    No, he got the job because without Alliance the political process would have collapsed.

  • Comrade Stalin

    but he could mitigate the impact of it by looking at a way that gets a bit of justice back for women who have had to go across the water and pay privately

    No. He can’t. As I explained already, very clearly above, you are advocating a social welfare scheme. Social welfare is a matter for the Department of Social Development and, potentially to a lesser extent, the Department for Health. Furthermore, the Minister would probably be breaking the law, as the wording of the existing legislation suggests that it is illegal to encourage another person to procure a miscarriage, and some kind of compensation scheme could be deemed by the courts as an encouragement.

    Finally, you are advocating that the Minister provide compensation because the law of the land cannot be changed, which sounds like a roundabout way of trying to undermine the authority of Assembly and democracy itself. So no, you can’t. I’m sorry that you don’t understand this but that’s how it is. I do not agree with our current abortion law, but it is the law, and it has to be changed through the proper channels, not through some sort of daft scheme where the Justice Minister exceeds his brief by paying for people to have private abortions elsewhere.

    Here’s the real problem. We elect crap politicians who fail to agree. As a consequence we get the government we voted for which is no less than we deserve. In particular, we elect politicians who have their heads in the sand over the issue of abortion and who are able to duck it because sending people to England allows them to avoid the consequences of it. We should focus our energies on that.

  • Comrade Stalin

    How could it make sense to pay for an abortion somewhere else if we won’t allow it to be done on our own soil ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    That’s Sinn Féin for you.

  • Comrade Stalin

    You’re sweeping it beneath the carpet because you’re not actually doing anything to prevent abortions. All you’re doing is forcing them to occur somewhere else. So all that talk about valuing life and so on is meaningless.

  • Comrade Stalin

    But they are getting away with it. We’re the only part of the western world with the exception of Poland that has such an outright prohibition. As I keep saying, whatever argument you think you are making, you have already lost.

  • npbinni

    As the party that, over the past 100 years, has brought about so much death, SF can hardly be described as pro-life!

  • carl marks

    Google; sarcasm.

  • I’m Trending on Twitter

    ‘No. He can’t. As I explained already, very clearly above, you are advocating a social welfare scheme.’

    Refunding an abortion = social welfare scheme? Seriously please get real. David Ford is supposedly a liberal Justice Minister is it too much to ask that he finds a bit of funding from his department and considers a scheme which Marie Stopes could administer that looks at giving out a refund for impoverished women who have had abortions privately, it is not a scheme for abortions which are due to happen or making money available for those which might happen; I think he should do this in recognition of the backward law that is in place in NI incongruous with the rest of the UK and look at mitigating this law using the power and funds of his own office – it’s called exploiting loopholes, you wouldn’t make a very good accountant or lawyer in fact you don’t come across as the sharpest. Also it’s not about compensating any one, as compensation would be some sort of entitlement esp for all those who have had an abortion which very well might place demands on his budget. It would be a scheme that is about holding ones hands up and admitting defeat on changing the law but about a liberal justice minister finding a very small amount of money to look at helping out a select number of women or men who may have paid on behalf of their partner or whatever.

    It would be about setting aside a very small amount of money to be targeted at those most in need of the money, as a means of recognising the hardships faced. He should set aside a very small sum of say £100,000 to refund a small number of abortions had by women who couldn’t really afford to pay privately but have some how managed to pay and are financially hard up after doing so.

    He is about to tweak the legislation a little bit to allow abortions for severely deformed babies the likes of which have missing heads or skulls that have failed to close over and the brain will pop out and the baby will die upon birth or is already dead inside, still born type situations; he will bring this to the assembly packaged up as ‘progress’ and you know what, I feel embarrassed for him, I really do, if this is all he can offer. The man shouldn’t be bringing this stuff to the assembly floor he should be resigning to let some other fool look completely inadequate and impotent.

    Bizarrely I can’t understand why you knock this proposal and seem to do your best to blast it out of the water on the basis you know best and know what the limits of his office are and his powers and what not, perhaps you would be best perceiving yourself as knowing Sweet FA, this would be more accurate, it could in fact help you out and encourage you to be bit more open to exploring ideas that are about helping people out.

  • npbinni

    Do all the pro-abortion people commenting here agree with Mr Dawkins’ view that unborn children with Down Syndrome should be ‘terminated’? What an amoral person.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’ve already explained myself several times. Not doing it again.

  • Comrade Stalin

    No.

    Do all the pro-choice people commenting here agree with the people in the USA who blow up abortion clinics ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    The idea that abortion, or at least the majority of abortions which occur in UK and the rest of Europe, amount to “killing” is a matter of opinion. In particular the idea that life begins at conception is basically a matter of religious dogma which has no supporting medical consensus at all.

  • npbinni

    Of course not, Comrade. But tell me, how many abortion clinics have been blown up in the past ten years? Twenty years?
    American abortion clinics massacre, by salt poisoning, dissection or mincing, over one million unborn babies – many of them Down Syndrome – every. single. year! What a sick world we live in.

  • Mister_Joe

    People make a choice to indulge in dangerous sports like speeding recklessly down mountains and perhaps breaking a neck or a back. Should we pay to put them whole again?

  • Croiteir

    If they were reckless to put themselves in danger yes – surely they have insurance for these activities? I know I did.

  • Croiteir

    I think you will find all evidence points conclusively that the child is human from conception.

  • Croiteir

    It looks like it has won the debate, after all what is the status quo?

  • Croiteir

    And how do you manage to come to that conclusion. The propaganda from pro abortion campaigners says different