Critical Abortion Vote in Northern Ireland Next WeekEditor’s note. This update was provided by the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues.
In an unexpected move, Northern Ireland’s Legislative Assembly will vote next week on legislation to legalize abortion.
Two amendments introduced to pending legislation would change existing law to permit abortion in cases of rape and when the unborn child is diagnosed with a disability.
The legislative move follows a High Court ruling in December in which Justice Horner claimed that the country’s laws protecting life were “incompatible” with the European Union’s non-binding Convention on Human Rights, but that it would be “a step too far” for him to change the law through the Court’s interpretation. Rather, he ruled, it was an issue for the Northern Ireland Assembly to decide.
Now, three pro-abortion MLAs [Members of the Legislative Assembly] have quickly and quietly introduced two surprise amendments to the Criminal Justice Bill under consideration by the Assembly. One amendment offered by MLAs Trevor Lunn and Stewart Dickson from the Alliance Party would legalize abortion for unborn children “with life-limiting conditions” up to birth. Another from MLA Steven Agnew would permit abortion in cases of rape. Both are expected to be voted on next Tuesday.
Bernadette Smyth, Director of Precious Life in Northern Ireland, stated,
If these pro-abortion politicians get their way on Tuesday 9th February, the most vulnerable and defenceless unborn children will be torn violently from their mother’s womb or “delivered early” and left struggling for breath in a cold and dark utility room until they die. And this would only be the beginning. As certain as the sun rises in the morning, these so-called “limited exceptions’ would give way to abortion on demand.”
Liam Gibson, SPUC’s Northern Ireland development officer, responded to the news stating,
Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this attack on the rights of unborn children is its timing. Last November a High Court judge ruled that human rights law permits the abortion of seriously disabled babies or those said to be conceived in rape. But that decision is being challenged in the Court of Appeal. Without waiting to see if the judgement will be overturned, a number of radically pro-abortion politicians are now trying to rush through legislation which is discriminatory, vague and could potentially introduce widespread abortion. It is a mockery of the legislative process to table proposals on such an important issue just one week before a vote.
Smyth sends a strong message to pro-life people in Northern Ireland to “put pressure on every MLA in your constituency to vote against these evil amendments.”
In explaining political party positions on the pro-abortion amendments she states,
I have just come off the radio after doing a debate on the BBC Stephen Nolan Show where I exposed the evil plans of the Alliance Party and the Green Party. What concerned me the most after doing the debate was that the only parties who had made a clear statement in opposition to these proposed amendments were the TUV and David McNarry from UKIP. As I write this letter to you I am awaiting a statement from the DUP and SDLP. It would be a total disaster for the future of this pro-life nation if these political parties who had protected our unborn children for decades were to buckle under the pressure of the media and pro-abortion forces who will stop at nothing to bring abortion on demand into Northern Ireland.
An intense lobby effort is underway until the vote on February 9.
Source: NRLC News