Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sep 9, 2019 / 11:35 am
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Belfast on Saturday to protest against the impending legalization of abortion in Northern Ireland. Pro-life advocates told CNA that they fear the proposed changes in the province could be used to legalize abortion on demand throughout the entirety of the United Kingdom.
The September 7 demonstration was held in response to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Act, passed by the UK Parliament in July. That act, passed by the national legislature, was introduced to ensure continuity of government following a protracted deadlock in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
During debate in the House of Commons, MPs from other parts of the UK voted to add provisions legalizing abortion in Northern Ireland, despite a 2016 decision by the Assembly to reject bringing abortion to the province.
The law, which will take effect on Oct. 21 unless the Assembly is able to resume operations, will also introduce same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland by 2020.