Towards the end of 2014, I had some email correspondence with Jim Wells MLA who was then the Minister of Health for the province. I put to him my standard question to anti-abortion politicians as outlined in The Mortal Coil: if he believes, as he does, that humanity begins at fertilisation, how could he square his opposition to abortion on the grounds that it is a variety of murder with his lack of concern for the millions of abortions that are caused every year by IUDs? As usual with anti-abortionists, he dodged the question. After he took part in an 'Any Questions?' programme from Northern Ireland in June 2018 that discussed abortion, I emailed the BBC about our exchanges and they asked me to mention them on 'Any Answers?' I then emailed him again.
"Dear Mr Wells, If you listened to Any Answers? today, you will know that our correspondence some three years ago - and your failure to answer my questions - is now to some extent in the public domain. I appreciate that you were eventually preoccupied with other matters at the time [his wife became very ill and he resigned as Health Minister. CB] and I hope those had a happy outcome. However, your successor Austin Orr was even less disposed to answer my questions than you were and in any case, you have now re-entered the argument in the very high-profile context of 'Any Questions?'. In case you no longer have the relevant emails, I have copied most of our exchanges onto the attached file. As I mentioned on 'Any Answers?', the fact that you sent me five emails in one day rather suggests that you share my opinion about the high importance of this issue and failure to grasp the philosophical nettle now would look correspondingly evasive."
He didn't reply.