Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Every Life Matters Conference Stormont

A conference with the title ‘Every Life Matters’ took place on Monday February 24th. in Belfast. The conference which was held the Long Gallery in Stormont was an initiative of the all party pro-life committee in Northern Ireland’s Assembly and was sponsored by Pat Ramsey MLA and JIM Wells MLA.
The conference was opened by Pat Ramsey who told the meeting that the all party committee had been in existence for 10 years and that the issues being dealt with would serve to inform parliamentarians for future discussion on the abortion issue.
The meeting was shown videos dealing with the loss of babies lives due to fatal abnormalities  and was addressed by three parents who  experienced tragic losses, Cliona Johnson from Dublin, Ryan Gamble and Derbhille McGill from Northern Ireland. 

Cliona Johnson’s baby boy John Paul who had been diagnosed with anencephaly lived for 17 minutes after birth surrounded by his family and those who loved him. He was theirs for a time only and his short life, both in the womb and after birth, was celebrated by his family. John Paul’s mother Cliona spoke about the precious moments with him and the love he brought to everyone in the family.

Ryan Gamble spoke about the three days spent with his son Rory. ‘The three days we had with our son Rory completely changed our lives forever’ Ryan told the meeting. Ryan then explained that Rory had not moved a muscle for the three days of his life but just before he died he reached out his hand towards his dad. Rory’s short life has touched people all over the world and Ryan has now formed a Charity in his memory called tennis ministries.

Derbhille McGill shared the moving story of her little baby daughter - Clodagh - who was diagnosed in the womb with having a fatal disability, Trisomy 13, and was told her baby would die before, or soon after birth. Little Clodagh lived for 33 days and was a great blessing to her family during her short life.

One of the significant issues evident from the three testimonies was the different levels of care in the different institutions and the importance of establishing properly constituted peri-natal hospice care