Bernie Smith of Pro-Life group, Precious Life is interviewed in today’s Belfast Telegraph.
Q. Do you not think you are adding to a vulnerable woman’s distress by trying to make her feel guilty about her choice?
A. Let’s turn this around and look at child abuse. If there was a child abuser in a community is that not the responsibility of people in society to highlight how horrible child abuse is. Abortion is the ultimate child abuse and for a woman in that situation it couldn’t be made worse because there is nothing worse for a woman than to have an abortion. I have sat with women who were suicidal because they had an abortion because there was nobody to say to them beforehand there was another way.
Q. What about the young girl or woman who is suicidal because she doesn’t want to go through with the pregnancy?
A. Well what do we do when people are suicidal? Take a woman who has just given birth and she has postnatal depression. I suffered from severe postnatal depression and like many women I needed someone to help me through that difficult stage. Would eliminating that baby, killing that baby have prevented me from being suicidal? I needed medical intervention. In some cases women who are suicidal during pregnancy may even need to be institutionalised in some cases.
Q. Are you saying a woman who is feeling suicidal about their pregnancy and doesn’t want to continue with the pregnancy should be institutionalised?
A. Well if her life is at risk.
Q. So you would do this against her will?
A. Not against her will, but if someone’s life is in danger we immediately have to offer medical intervention. Abortion does not eliminate suicidal thoughts. Abortion causes suicidal thoughts. I don’t believe aborting a child for any reason is in anyway beneficial to that child.
Q. What about the young girl in the republic, raped and suicidal. Was it not cruel to force her to continue with her pregnancy?
A. Well how much more cruel would it have been to rip that child from her womb. A loving society offers support and help to women. If she was suicidal she should have received immediate psychiatric care and sometimes that involves medical intervention that would include hospitalisation and the proper medication. 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.