Belfast, Northern Ireland, Oct 1, 2019 / 14:04 pm
Religious leaders are calling on Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith to reconvene the region's legislative assembly, in order to avoid new liberalizing abortion laws which are set to take effect later this month.
"Our Northern Ireland political parties have it in their own hands to do something about this," the religious leaders said in a Monday joint statement.
The British parliament voted in July to add same-sex marriage and a loosening of abortion restrictions as amendments to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill, which is designed to keep the region running amid a protracted deadlock in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
If Northern Ireland Assembly is not reconvened by Oct. 21, the expansion of abortion rights and the legalization of same-sex marriage will take effect. Secretary Smith would be mandated to put the laws into effect by March 31, 2020.