'It's a fair comparison' – DUP politician compares abortion in Britain to the Holocaust
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'It's a fair comparison' – DUP politician compares abortion in Britain to the Holocaust

DUP MLA and former Stormont health minister Jim Wells has likened abortion in Britain to the Holocaust.

The 61-year-old claimed the number of terminations in England, Scotland and Wales since 1967 was comparable to the number of people murdered in Nazi gas chambers.

Around six million Jews died in concentration camps under Adolf Hitler's regime during World War Two, with 17 million victims overall.

Mr Wells made the remarks on BBC Radio Ulster's Nolan Show in a debate over Northern Ireland's ban on abortion, in the wake of the Republic's vote to liberalise its own abortion laws last month.

'Ghastly situation'

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Host Stephen Nolan and Mr Wells were joined by journalist Malachi O'Doherty, who said: "What comes across is a huge cultural division between the DUP's attitude to abortion and moral issues and the ordinary British parliamentarian.

"If the DUP does [see abortion as murder] then you are saying that these people are effectively like the Nazis, that there's something worse than the Holocaust happening in England."

Mr Wells replied: "I don't think that's too far wrong".

The South Down Assembly Member added: "9.2 million people have had their lives terminated through abortion in Britain since 1967.

"That is actually more than the number of lives murdered in the gas and concentration camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

"It is a ghastly situation - we are killing human beings. These are sentient human beings who have every right to life, who have every right to be protected."

Mr Wells later clarified that his comparison to the Nazis was only related to the "numbers" involved.

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"I think the numbers are a fair comparison because these human beings have been killed," he said.

An emergency debate on Northern Ireland's abortion ban was held in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

The British Government has resisted calls to step in and legislate amid the ongoing powersharing dispute in Northern Ireland, insisting that any decision has to be taken by locally-elected politicians at Stormont.