Abortion has been decriminalised and same-sex ‘marriage’ legalised in Northern Ireland.
Despite a final attempt to block the proposed legislation, the laws changed at midnight on Monday 21 October.
After more than two years without sitting, Unionist parties triggered the assembly’s recall with a petition to stop the liberalisation of abortion. However, MLAs (members of the Northern Irish Assembly) were told that that no business could be officiated until a speaker was elected with cross-community backing.
Republican party Sinn Féin, Alliance, the Green Party and People Before Profit did not attend the sitting at Stormont.
With no government being reformed, the legislation took effect after the 21 October deadline.
New regulations to govern the provision of abortion will not be ready until the end of March 2020, which means that abortion will be unregulated during the five-month gap. This is a dramatic shift away from Northern Ireland’s pro-life laws, which are understood to have saved some 100,000 lives.
The legislation states that regulations to provide for same-sex marriages must be brought in by the Westminster government by 13 January 2020. Couples must indicate their intent to ‘marry’ 28 days before doing so. The first same-sex weddings in Northern Ireland are now expected to take place around Valentine’s Day 2020.
MPs in Westminster approved the new legislation back in July, adding on the controversial measures to legislation that was initially meant solely to keep Northern Ireland running in the absence of a devolved government.
Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern, commented on the new laws:
“Through a piece of administrative legislation, we have now imposed access to abortion and same-sex ‘marriage’ on the people of Northern Ireland. These are not things that have been discussed in their legislative assembly, nor have they been put to the people. Rather, these laws have been foisted upon the people of Northern Ireland without debate.
“These laws go right to the very heart of what it means to be human. Historically, the laws of this country have been based on the idea of human dignity, which comes from the Bible. Because of Northern Ireland’s pro-life laws, which gave dignity to the unborn child and sought to protect the most vulnerable in society, 100,000 people are alive today.
“This is not just about individual rights, but about how we live in community. Society thrives when we honour and protect the family – father, mother and children. However, without regard to law, Westminster has imposed a form of cultural imperialism on the people of Northern Ireland. We now call on the leaders of Northern Ireland to renew efforts to restore devolution and engage in real debate over these vital issues.”
Article courtesy of Christian Concern. Republished by permission.
Link to the original article: https://christianconcern.com/comment/abortion-and-same-sex-marriage-imposed-on-northern-ireland/