Politicians in Northern Ireland have accused Westminster of ‘riding roughshod’ over the will of the Province, following the imposition of highly permissive abortion laws.
The changes go far beyond the law in the rest of the UK, with abortions allowed for any reason up to 12 weeks.
The new abortion regime came into force earlier this week despite massive resistance from the public.
In an Assembly debate on the issue, Paul Givan MLA, highlighted that 79 per cent of those who responded to a Government consultation opposed any change in the law.
“The British Government, once again, rode roughshod over the will of the people in this country.”
He added that the unborn “have as much a right to life as those whom we are seeking to protect in our response to COVID-19”.
What value do we put on that life?
Paul Frew MLA agreed, saying Westminster and the Northern Ireland Office had made a “mockery” of democracy.
Robbie Butler MLA was particularly concerned that abortion is now available up to birth on the grounds of disability.
He asked: “What about those who could give a loving home to a child like that? What value do we put on that life?”
And MLA Jim Allister QC urged the Assembly to overturn the “outrageous” law and “give a voice to the unborn”.
The Christian Institute’s Northern Ireland Officer Callum Webster said: “It is deeply disappointing that Westminster made it a priority to impose such extreme abortion regulations on Northern Ireland.
“The legal framework in the Province has gone from one which protected the most vulnerable in our society to one which is more destructive of unborn children than the 1967 Act on the mainland.
“Westminster has disregarded the wishes of locally elected politicians in Stormont. It has also ignored the thousands of citizens who responded to its public consultation calling for the existing laws to be retained.
“I am grateful to all those MLAs who spoke out in defence of our unborn neighbours in Tuesday’s debate in the Assembly. It has been a very sad week for Northern Ireland.”