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BELFAST, Northern Ireland (ChurchMilitant.com) - Abortion and same-sex "marriage" are coming to Northern Ireland.
On Friday, it was announced that the Northern Ireland Assembly was returning to its Stormont headquarters in a final bid to preserve the country's pro-life protections; but the last-ditch effort collapsed Monday, setting the stage for legalization as of midnight local time.
Monday's recall was sparked by pro-United Kingdom Unionist parties opposed to the legalization of abortion. But their attempt failed, succumbing to political infighting when an Irish nationalist party stormed out of the chamber early in the session, thereby setting the stage for the coming social and cultural shift.
Legalization of abortion and same-sex "marriage" marks a sweeping victory for the British Left, which in recent years has waged an increasingly aggressive campaign to strike down Belfast's pro-life, pro-family protections and bring Northern Ireland in line with the liberal policy regimes of England, Scotland and Wales.
In 2017, the U.K. government began offering free abortions to Northern Irish women at facilities across Britain.
In 2018, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission sought to overturn the region's abortion laws in court. The U.K. Supreme Court declared Belfast's pro-life protections violated human rights law, but eventually dismissed the case, saying the plaintiffs had not been harmed by the laws.
In July, activist lawmakers in London began ramped up their push to impose legalization on Belfast.
On July 9, by a vote of 383 to 73, members of Parliament (MPs) in the House of Commons passed an amendment greenlighting gay "marriage." Minutes later, they voted 332 to 99 to legalize the killing of Northern Irish unborn.
Critics denounced the move as a usurpation of political power, pointing out that Stormont has power to legislate on matters not reserved for Parliament in London, including abortion and marriage policy.
They also slammed it as exploitative, noting that the push for legalization came as Stormont lay dormant — suspended since 2017 over political disagreements.
But lawmakers pressed forward. In mid-July, the House of Lords passed an amendment that would legalize abortion up to 28 weeks — well into the second trimester of pregnancy.
Activist MPs were reinforced on Oct. 3, when a Belfast High Court declared that the country's abortion ban is a breach of the United Kingdom's commitment to human rights.
Northern Ireland was exempted from the 1967 Abortion Act, which legalized the killing of the unborn in England, Scotland and Wales.
Until now, abortion was permitted only in cases in which the mother's life is threatened or if there was a serious risk of damage to her physical or mental health; abortion remained illegal in cases of rape, incest or fetal abnormality.
The new abortion regime will be the most radical in Western Europe.
According to Right to Life UK, late-term abortion — for any reason — will be legal well into the seventh month of pregnancy. Young girls will be able to procure an abortion without parental consent. Partial-birth abortions and sex-selective abortions will be available.
The new regime also permits eugenic abortion and opens the door to infanticide — in cases of botched abortion, babies born alive after the procedure will be allowed to die.
It also threatens the rights of mothers and medical personnel, with no provision to help prevent a man from forcing a woman into having an abortion, and no conscientious protections for pro-life doctors who refuse to perform an abortion.