Thousands of pro-life postcards have been delivered to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a bid to stop abortion laws being liberalized in Northern Ireland.
As Faithwire previously reported, despite being part of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland has separate laws on important domestic matters, decided on by a devolved governing assembly. As such, abortion has remained illegal under the 1945 Criminal Justice Act, with exceptions made for if the mother’s life is in immediate danger.
However, as the Northern Ireland Assembly is currently inactive, Westminster parliamentarians decided it was a good time to liberalize the country’s laws on abortion, bringing it in line with the rest of the UK.
This has caused massive backlash from within the Northern Irish pro-life community, who, marching in their thousands in Belfast last week, insisted that they “were not asked” before this change was forced through:
The new law will be passed if the Northern Ireland Assembly does not restart before October 21 and would make abortion legal up to 28 weeks.
Pro-life petition presented to Prime Minister
Now, in a fresh bid to protect Northern Ireland’s unborn, a group of pro-life politicians have presented Prime Minister Boris Johnson with thousands of postcards written by those in favor of keeping abortion illegal.
The petition was organized by the Society of the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) and supported by several pro-life politicians from Northern Ireland’s governing Democratic Unionist Party.
“The postcards from the people of Northern Ireland call on the Prime Minister not to impose abortion on Northern Ireland,” the SPUC said in a statement.
“The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Act 2019 will repeal Sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against The Person Act, effectively legalising abortion throughout the first six and half months of pregnancy, one of the most radical and extreme abortion regimes in Europe, going beyond even Britain’s current legislation. Yesterday, Stella Creasy, the MP who hijacked the routine bill with an abortion amendment, explicitly said that the people of Northern Ireland should not be consulted.”
While Creasy’s remarks have flown relatively under the radar in the British press, those who spotted them were outraged.
“Creasey’s arrogance is disgusting,” one person wrote on Twitter. “How dare she ride roughshod over the wishes of the people of Northern Ireland. Of course the people should be consulted. NI doesn’t want its unborn children to be slaughtered.”
“After ramming through this extreme abortion legislation against the express will of the elected representatives of Northern Ireland, Stella Creasy does not want the public to be consulted on so much as its implementation,” added SPUC’s campaigns and parliamentary research assistant, Alithea Williams.
“The huge crowds that gathered in Belfast over the weekend protesting this disgraceful act show that she does indeed have something to fear from consulting the people of Northern Ireland on their own abortion laws.”
In a statement following the pro-life group’s visit to 10 Downing Street, DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds said: “I am delighted to join parliamentary colleagues from across the House today to hand in the petition which has been organised by SPUC. I want to congratulate them on the fantastic work they’re doing in order to ensure that the people who make the decisions on these vital issues about the unborn child are the elected politicians of Northern Ireland.”
“They’re the ones who have responsibility for this area and changes in the law should not be imposed in Westminster over the heads of the people of Northern Ireland,” he added.
SPUC’s Northern Ireland Political Officer, Liam Gibson, added that “the people of Northern Ireland are outraged and disgusted by this dangerous imposition of abortion on Northern Ireland,” noting that the new legislation “represents the greatest tragedy for unborn babies and women in Northern Ireland.”
“A hundred thousand people in Northern Ireland are alive today because Northern Ireland did not accept the same abortion law that was introduced into Britain in 1967,” he concluded.
In 2016-2017, there were just 13 abortions carried out across Northern Ireland. In comparison, across both England and Wales, there were roughly 200,000.
Faithwire has reached out to the Society of the Protection of Unborn Children and Democratic Unionist MP Jim Shannon for comment.