N.I. Human Rights Festival Includes Unborn Rights


The Northern Ireland Human Rights Festival, which takes place in Belfast next month, will include a lecture and discussion about the right to life of the unborn.  Pro-abortion groups are furious and one member of the Festival’s organising group has resigned in protest.


Liz Nelson of the Belfast Feminist Network claimed the event “promoted the criminalisation of women”.


The organisation Both Lives Matter which helped set up the debate said it was surprised and disappointed. “Shutting down debate is contrary to some of the most basic human rights such as freedom of thought, conscience, expression and speech.”


The Human Rights Consortium, which is behind the annual festival, said while they understood the inclusion of the event may be unwelcome to some, it was a space for different arguments and positions on human rights issues to be set out and considered.


The majority decision to include the Both Lives Matter event was taken by the board of the Consortium. Its director Kevin Hanratty said: "The festival is a place for different human rights arguments to be made and considered, even on the most contested subject."


Both Lives Matter said they would not be protesting pro-choice events at the festival.


“We have invited a leading QC to address some of the legal concerns around the competing rights raised by abortion. We believe discussion and persuasion provide a better path than 'no platforming' and silencing those we disagree with,” they said.


The lecture, Do Both Lives Matter? will be at 1 p.m. on Monday, 5th December in Black Box, Main Room, 18 - 22 Hill Street, Belfast. The event will consist of a short lecture by Brett Lockhart QC, who will discuss human rights perspectives on the current legal framework on abortion law in Northern Ireland, followed by questions and answers. Admission is free.

BBC. November 24. N.I. Human Rights Festival.

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