Monday, 30 November 2015

Ulster Life

The DUP and Sylvia Hermon do not like David Cameron, or his party in general, but they are far more averse to Jeremy Corbyn. Today's court ruling in abortion in Northern Ireland presents Corbyn with an opportunity.

He has always voted in favour of abortion (although, like the Morning Star, he is opposed to assisted suicide, a cause to which his Blairite enemies are particularly attached), but the sections of the Labour Party that tend to be opposed to it are overwhelmingly supportive of him for other reasons.

It is not a cause to which his tendency attaches any especial importance, being a bit busy with issues of economic inequality and of peace. On those issues, it has a long history of working well with churches, not least including Catholic and Evangelical churches.

All that he has to say, therefore, is that he believes that the abortion law in Northern Ireland ought to be decided by the Northern Ireland Assembly.

As much as anything else, that would clarify his support for the SDLP, which is strongly opposed to abortion and austerity, over Sinn Féin, which has long supported the former, and which is now in favour of the latter, too.

As to the ruling itself, it establishes a right to abortion under two circumstances, one of which cannot be known, while the other cannot be proved, probably in the time available, and certainly by medical means.

Or will the fact of an abortion for sexual crime then be used as proof of that crime? In that case, mere allegation will have become proof.

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