Battle Escalates Over Northern Ireland Abortion, Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Bill

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by Stephen Wynne  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  July 17, 2019   

Critics denounce London's push to impose policy on Belfast

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LONDON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Parliament's push to strip Northern Ireland of its pro-life, pro-family laws is intensifying.

On Wednesday, the House of Lords debated an amendment to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill that would make abortion available up to 28 weeks — well into the second trimester.

Introduced by lesbian lawmaker Baroness Elizabeth Barker, the proposal "is more extreme than the law in the rest of the UK which has legal abortion up until 24 weeks and the Republic of Ireland which allows abortion up until 12 weeks gestation," according to Right To Life UK.

Speaking to Church Militant on Wednesday, Lumen Fidei Institute founder Anthony Murphy, editor of Ireland's Catholic Voice newspaper, slammed Barker and her allies:

It is disgusting that socialists in Westminster are trying to force one of the most liberal abortion regimes in the world into Northern Ireland. They have no mandate to bring in extreme legislation which will kill the blameless little children of our race. If they are genuinely worried about democracy not working then they better get on and deliver Brexit and leave Northern Ireland to the people who live there.

 

The move comes in the wake of back-to-back votes in the House of Commons last week legalizing abortion and same-sex "marriage" in Northern Ireland — a move critics denounced as a usurpation of political power.

The local lawmaking body, the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont in Belfast, has power to legislate on matters not reserved for Parliament, including abortion and marriage policy. But in 2017, Stormont was suspended over political disagreements — a dormancy that activist politicians are exploiting to advance their cause. 

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Baroness Elizabeth Barker

In a Wednesday press release, Right To Life UK noted that Northern Irish members of Parliament (MPs) were universally opposed to the action: "In spite of the fact that abortion remains a devolved issue in Northern Ireland, and the fact that every single MP representing Northern Ireland in Westminster voted against this amendment, 332 MPs in Westminister — who don't represent Northern Ireland — voted to force abortion on Northern Ireland."

After the House of Commons vote last week, U.K. pro-life advocates took solace in the fact that if Stormont were to reconvene by Oct. 21, Northern Ireland's pro-life, pro-family protections would be preserved.

But that is now in doubt. According to Right To Life UK, Barker's proposal would not only compel Northern Ireland to legalize abortion, it would not allow Stormont to have a say in the matter.

In recent years, the British left has ramped up efforts to nullify Belfast's pro-life, pro-family protections and bring Northern Ireland in line with the liberal policy regimes of England, Scotland and Wales.

The attempt to impose abortion and same-sex marriage on Belfast is under fire from many quarters. Speaking to the BBC on Monday, House of Lords member Baroness Nuala O'Loan said that owing to the amendments, the Northern Ireland Bill is unworkable.

O'Loan said the bill had been "hijacked" by activist MPs, whom she slammed for trying to deny the people of Northern Ireland a say in their own government policy:

This was a bill that started its life in Parliament with the intention of allowing the secretary of state to postpone the date for an election … to enable the talks which are currently under way to restore the Northern Ireland Assembly to proceed. What happened was it was hijacked in the Commons … various amendments were put in and these should not have been accepted because they were outside the purpose of the bill.

In recent years, the British left has ramped up efforts to nullify 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.

"The reality of abortion is becoming ever more clear to the people of southern Ireland with many now regretting the way they voted in the 2018 referendum," Murphy told Church Militant on Wednesday. "But the change of heart is too little too late — there will not be another referendum because abortion is big business and a lucrative market for murder has been created in Ireland and it will take generations to turn the clock back."

"Northern Ireland must think of the thousands of innocent unborn children and resist this barbaric power grab from Westminster," he added. "Don't let your hospitals become abattoirs where unborn children are literally tortured to a painful death in what should be the safest place for them."

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