Kezia Dugdale Called Upon to Back Up Abortion Claims

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Saturday June 9 2018

The Director of the Catholic Church’s Parliamentary Office has called on former Labour Leader Kezia Dugdale (pictured) to provide evidence for a claim she made during First Minister's Questions on Thursday, 7 June.

During a debate on a recent UK Supreme Court decision which declared that some of Northern Ireland's abortion laws were incompatible with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale told the Scottish Parliament that “In Northern Ireland, some women have received longer jail sentences for having had an abortion than were given to the men who raped them in the first place.”

Commenting on the claim, Anthony Horan, Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office said:

“I can find no record of any woman ever being imprisoned for having an abortion in Northern Ireland.

“If Kezia Dugdale is aware of such cases perhaps she might disclose them.”

To date, only one woman is known to have been convicted of the offence of procuring her own abortion, a conviction which resulted in a suspended sentence.

Mr Horan added:

“While rape is an extremely serious matter, so too is abortion.

“There is considerable emotion around the debate on abortion and it is crucial that information introduced to the public debate is accurate if we are going to have a fair and honest debate about it.

“This is particularly important in public forums like the Scottish Parliament where it is important that elected members are extremely wary of making misleading claims.”



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