"All life is precious, but some is more precious than others"
How can I say that?
Well in today's Belfast Telegraph she is reported as saying:
"Pregnant women seeking to terminate their pregnancy because they are suicidal should be institutionalised until the baby is born."
In other words, she is seeking to section pregnant woman who for whatever reason feel suicidal during their pregnancy, until they give birth. Mental health professionals will tell you that there is a need to deal with the causes of those suicidal thoughts. The issue arises here in Northern Ireland that an abortion is only allowed to be carried out if the continuation of the pregnancy affects the mother's health either physically or mentally.
Mrs Smyth also talked of a recent case in the Republic where an asylum seeker was denied an abortion after she was raped. She said:
"The right decision was made in this case not to abort the baby. She'll never regret giving birth to her baby, but she would have regretted an abortion."
She had to go through 27 weeks of bearing a reminder of the horrific time she was forcibly used for sex. Was that regret, the mental anguish of that moment not of consideration? Mrs Smyth has three children, none of whom was conceived through rape, so she cannot understand what levels of regret a woman in that position must be feeling. In fact similar sentiments were expressed in recent years by Jim Wells MLA who is a member of the NI Assembly's All Party Pro-Life Group, who like Mrs Smyth has never had any of his children conceived through rape, but unlike her he has never personally gone through pregnancy, labour and delivery of his children.
The chair of the NI All Party Pro-Life Group despite never being elected to any legislature in Northern Ireland is a Mrs Bernadette Smyth. Yes the 10 male MLAs who form that Group have given the control to an unelected spokesperson from a lobbying group. Kind of surprising that the men who seek to take control of every Northern Irish woman's reproductive rights should give up control of their own group to an outsider and a woman at that. But when you give that right over to the director of the biggest lobby group on one side of the debate on the issue there must surely be a conflict on interests there which in any other part of the UK would be called in question and investigated thoroughly.
Precious Life is prepared to section women, something that would appear on their medical records and may affect their livelihoods for years to come to protect the life of the unborn child. It should how precious they consider the lives of women who for whatever reason whether rape, poor financial or educational situation find themselves pregnant and suicidal as a result of not knowing what to do or how to cope with going to the point of giving birth to a living child.
But for Mrs Smyth and her Precious Life supporters
"Unborn life is precious, but the life of rape victims and suicidal women are less so."