03 October 2019
DUP MLA for Upper Bann Carla Lockhart has responded to the judgement at the Belfast High Court.
Carla Lockhart said,
“I recognise the tragic circumstances which led to today’s court case. As an elected representative, I am fully aware of the sensitivity around cases where an unborn baby is identified to have a life-limiting condition deemed fatal before, during or shortly after birth.
During the debates at Westminster in July, the Democratic Unionist Party indicated we stand ready to consider law and policy around these cases in a re-constituted Northern Ireland Assembly.
However, it is crucially important that we remember that the High Court judgement made today referred to a narrow set of circumstances. The judgement in no way found that there is a requirement under the European Convention of Human Rights to allow for abortion on request for any reason up to the point of viability.
There is no human right to abortion on request.
I note the comments of Michelle O’Neill MLA today where she stated that this issue should be dealt with at the Assembly. The Democratic Unionist Party is ready to return to Stormont tomorrow with no preconditions and we are prepared to engage on this issue. The Northern Ireland Assembly is where this issue should be decided following consultation with the people of Northern Ireland and a proper legislative process. The NI (Executive Formation etc.) Act was a classic example of poorly thought through and badly drafted legislation. The people of Northern Ireland deserve far better than what they got from Westminster on this issue.
Northern Ireland needs the Executive back. Every day I have constituents in desperate need contacting me with regard to difficulties they are facing around health, education and welfare. We need Ministerial-led government. I implore Sinn Fein to drop their boycott and get the Executive restored.”