Church leaders from across the community in Northern Ireland have expressed “grave concern” at the prospect of “almost unregulated” abortion being imposed upon the province.
The heads of the Presbyterian, Anglican, Methodist and Roman Catholic churches, along with the President of the Irish Council of Churches have come together to call on their congregations to lobby politicians to oppose any law change, for “the sake of those who have no voice in this debate”.
In July, in the absence of a functioning Stormont government, Westminster voted to impose abortion on demand, for any reason, up to 28-weeks on Northern Ireland if Stormont’s Executive is not restored by 21 October.
The leaders are concerned that by permitting unregulated abortion, there will be no protections for unborn babies with a disability and no prohibition on sex-selective abortion.
In a joint statement, they said: “There is no evidence that these changes reflect the will of the people affected by them, as they were not consulted.”
They also called on the Northern Ireland Secretary to recall the Stormont Assembly, before the 21 October deadline, so that the Province’s elected representatives can take steps to prevent the extreme abortion laws coming into effect.
Meanwhile, the UK Government has confirmed that plans on launching a nationwide abortion marketing campaign across Northern Ireland in early November.
Recent polling from ComRes shows that 66% of women and 70% of 18-34-year-olds in Northern Ireland rejected abortion law imposed on Northern Ireland from Westminster. The strongest support among age groups surveyed came from 18-34-year-olds, with 70% agreeing that they did not want abortion law imposed on Northern Ireland.
Spokesperson for Right To Life UK Catherine Robinson said:
“Polling, public demonstrations and more recently letters from church leaders and healthcare professionals show how little public support there is for this new and extreme abortion law.”
“We call on elected representatives to listen to the people of Northern Ireland and to re-establish Stormont so that democratic process can be restored and this extreme abortion regime will be halted.”