Peer: ‘Why are politicians trying to force abortion on Northern Ireland?’

MPs attempting to impose abortion on Northern Ireland are being driven by “a mutant version of liberal ideology”, according to an independent Peer.

Lord Alton of Liverpool criticised recent comments made by Lord Duncan of Springbank, who claimed that the Province’s law on abortion was “Victorian”.

Lord Alton said this “ill-considered and patronising remark” was “part of a concerted attempt to force abortion legislation on Northern Ireland”.

Devolved matter

Currently, the Abortion Act 1967 does not apply in Northern Ireland, where abortion remains illegal except to protect the life of the mother.

Pressure has been mounting to liberalise NI law, with some MPs calling on Prime Minister Theresa May to enforce a change following the Republic of Ireland’s decision to remove protections for the unborn.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said last month that it is “important to recognise that the people of Northern Ireland are entitled to their own process”.

Lord Alton has backed this stance, saying it is right “that abortion remain a devolved matter”.

‘Liberal’ ideology

He then questioned why politicians were so eager to enforce abortion on the Province.

“British political parties, once champions of devolution, have turned full circle when it comes to abortion.

“This is only the latest example of what the philosopher John Gray calls ‘alt-liberalism’, a mutant version of liberal ideology: all-knowing, self-regarding and autocratic.”

100,000 lives saved

Lord Alton also pointed out that the Northern Ireland Assembly most recently voted against a change in the law in February 2016.

And he cited a 2017 report by campaign group Both Lives Matter that showed an estimated 100,000 people are alive today because of Northern Ireland’s stance.

Lord Alton added: “Why would anyone want to change that – and what right do we have to impose such laws upon the people of Northern Ireland?”

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