Edwin Poots is a DUP Northern Ireland Assembly Member for Lagan Valley. He was Minister of the Environment from July 2009 until May 2011, and Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety from May 2011 until September 2014.
The biography on Mr Poots' own website states:
- "Edwin is a young earth creationist and an opponent of the theory of evolution."
In an interview on the BBC's Sunday Sequence, Mr Poots confused evolution and the "Big Bang" theory, saying:
- "…you're telling me that cosmic balls of dust gathered and there was an explosion. We've had lots of explosions in Northern Ireland and I've never seen anything come out of that that was good."
In October 2012, with the opening of the first Marie Stopes clinic in Northern Ireland in the news, Mr Poots was asked a number of questions in the Assembly about the clinic. In the course of his responses he said:
- "We will seek to ensure that, in Northern Ireland, the law is not broken. We have made it very clear how the law stands in Northern Ireland on abortion . I am totally and wholly opposed to the application of the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland. Were the time reduced to 12 weeks, I would still be opposed to its application to Northern Ireland. That is the nature of it. I do not think that there is any appetite for abortion on demand in Northern Ireland. I trust that that will be the case in the future and that the Assembly will show due respect for the public."
- "Over the last 45 years, since the 1967 Abortion Act was passed, in England, Scotland and Wales there have been 6.4 million abortions. That is more than 10% of the existing population of GB. In Northern Ireland, where the population is 1.8 million, that would equate to around 200,000 abortions. Regrettably, I understand, up to 50,000 women have travelled to England for an abortion, but the figure that is left is 150,000 people who are alive in Northern Ireland who might not otherwise have been alive. I expect that around half of them are women. You talk about choice: they are living a life in which they have the choice to marry or to have children and the choice of what work they do or what education they take up. Had they been aborted, they would not have any choice in life. So the term "pro choice" is really one that means "no choice" for thousands of children here and millions of children in GB. I will always resist the 1967 Abortion Act coming to Northern Ireland."
Blood Donations from Gay Men
See this story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-15014823
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