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Two months ago Northern Ireland’s pro-life movement won a victory in turning back an attempt to have abortion legalized ‘through the back door’.

Now Precious Life is launching “40 Days for Life”, the startlingly successful campaign of spiritual and pro-life witness which began in the United States in 2004.

When the Department of Health of the Government in Westminster drew up draft guidelines on abortion, Precious Life held a series of meetings with MPs and Northern Ireland Assembly Members warning them that guidelines would change how the law against abortion is interpreted and effectively legalise abortion in Northern Ireland ‘through the back door.’

In September, a motion was tabled in the Northern Ireland Assembly, opposing the Department of Health guidelines.

Before the debate, Precious Life made a presentation of 120,000 petitions against abortion, signed by the Northern Ireland public.

Bernadette Smyth, Director of Precious Life, described the overwhelming passage of the motion as “a victory for unborn children.”

Now Precious Life is promoting a campaign of 40 days of prayer and fasting for an end to abortion, which will run from February 6th to March 16th.

The campaign consists of three components – prayer and fasting; peaceful vigils outside abortion agencies; and community outreach. Precious Life says they hope the 40 day campaign will inspire people who have never been involved in pro-life activities to come forward and join the pro-life movement.

The group has already started to distribute thousands of campaign leaflets together with a petition postcard to the Northern Ireland Office to keep abortion out of Northern Ireland.

Smyth commented: [Starting 6 February] “…communities across Ireland and the UK will be uniting with more than 50 cities in the USA for the largest simultaneous pro-life mobilisation in history – The 40 Days for Life Campaign…for the defeat of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Bill which goes before the House of Commons in February. The HFE Bill …fundamentally undermines the dignity and sanctity of human life by allowing human beings to be created and destroyed at will for experimentation. Although the Bill itself does not deal with abortion, it is expected that the pro-abortion MPs will table amendments to liberalise the law on abortion and extend it to Northern Ireland.”

[25 Jan 2008, John-Henry Westen, Belfast,]