DUP leader Arlene Foster is “determined” to reconvene Stormont before the 21st October in order to prevent one of the most extreme abortion regime’s in Europe being forced on Northern Ireland.
In July, Westminster voted to impose abortion on Northern Ireland via the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill. This was despite the fact that abortion remains a devolved issue in Northern Ireland and the fact that every MP from the region who sits in Westminster voted against the decision.
The leader of the DUP has since received thousands of emails, letters and petitions from concerned residents of Northern Ireland calling on her to do all she can to stop the introduction of the law.
If the Northern Ireland Assembly is able to reconvene by the 21st October, this legislation will not come into force.
She said it was one issue that crossed traditional community lines in Northern Ireland.
“The DUP have consistently advocated a strong pro-life position. We will always speak up for the unborn child,” she said.
Mrs Foster said Westminster’s intervention was “drastic” adding it “would be unacceptable for Northern Ireland and leave no effective legal framework in place”.
“I remain determined to reach an agreement that will restore the Northern Ireland Executive. Therefore there will be no requirement for the implementation of the Northern Ireland Executive Formation Bill,” Mrs Foster told her local paper.
“As the party leader, I feel that abortion is one issue where alliances have developed across the main traditions in the community. As I have been indicating, research by the Both Lives Matter campaign highlights that at least 100,000 people are alive in Northern Ireland today who wouldn’t have been if the 1967 Act had been extended here.
We strongly believe that it should be elected representatives from Northern Ireland, taking decisions on issues of life and the protection of the unborn child.”
As the legislation advanced by Westminster stands, if it were to come into force, Northern Ireland would have one of the most extreme abortion regimes in the world with no legal safeguards before 28 weeks.
This means that abortion would be available on the basis of the sex of the child as well as for any disability the child might have throughout the first 7 months of pregnancy. Children can be born as early as 22 weeks and go on to thrive.
Catherine Robinson spokesperson for Right To Life UK said:
“Mrs Foster is right to stand up for the pro-life laws of Northern Ireland and it is encouraging to see so many people from Northern Ireland resisting this abortion decree from Westminster.
However, unless Stormont is reconvened in time, Mrs Foster’s words do not count for much”
Right To Life UK has set up a function to allow residents of Northern Ireland to contact their elected representatives, urging them to do everything within their power to ensure Stormont is reconvened before the 21st October.