The Northern Catholic Bishops have issued a response to the introduce of abortion services to Northern Ireland. Bishops described the decision last week by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Mr Brandon Lewis MP, to direct the NI Executive and Department of Health to make abortion services available in Northern Ireland by 21 March 2022, as “gravely disquieting”. Bishops emphasised that this is the latest in a line of decisions by the current Westminster Government which threatens the “fragile balance of relationships” at the heart of the Good Friday Agreement.

Bishops continued, “In unilaterally imposing this direction on the local Northern Ireland Assembly to provide abortion services, it is as if the Westminster Government, and those local parties who have supported them, believe the answer to the issue of providing compassionate care for a woman and her unborn child in pregnancy can be framed simply and exclusively as a ‘healthcare issue’.

“Absent from the discussion however are the thousands of unborn children, who have no legal protection and whose humanity is excluded from the political equation. It is for this reason that the argument for the protection of all human life can never be abandoned or referred to human rights experts alone. Westminster has imposed an unjust law. Christians, and all people of good will, can never stand silently by and fail to raise their voices at any attempt to ignore completely the fact that unborn children are human beings worthy of protection,” bishops said.

Ahead of upcoming elections to the NI Assembly, bishops encouraged everyone “who believes in the equal right to life and compassionate care for a mother and her unborn child to ask local candidates and political parties to explain their position on these interventions and on this most fundamental of all issues.

To read the statement in full, click here.

ENDS