Northern Ireland Sees Thousands Rally Against Abortion, Petitions Presented

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 21, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Northern Ireland Sees Thousands Rally Against Abortion, Petitions Presented

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 21
, 2008

Belfast, Northern Ireland ( — Thousands of pro-life advocates rallied in Northern Ireland over the weekend against a measure in a bill in the England parliament that would legalize abortion there. The high turnout at the Rally for Life made it clear that residents of the region do not want legal abortions there.

Undaunted by the heavy rain, the enthusiastic crowd cheered as their local MPs and Assembly Members, together with representatives of local, national and international pro-life groups pledged to stop abortion being forced on Northern Ireland.

Bernadette Smyth, who organized the rally, told, "I was overwhelmed to see so many people standing in defense of our unborn children. Thousands of people from the different traditions in Northern Ireland stood united at this historic ‘Rally for Life’ to hear our local politicians reiterate the cross-party opposition to the extension of the Abortion Act."

Jeffrey Donaldson MP MLA spoke to the thousands of people from all over Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland at a rally in Stormont, organized by Precious Life.

"If Westminster imposes the Abortion Act, as a minister I will not implement that law," he said.

Jeffrey Donaldson, who is chairman of the All-Party Pro-life Group of the Northern Ireland Assembly, also addressed the crowd.

"Our opponents say that this issue is about equality. Well, where is the equality for the people of Northern Ireland when they can have no say over legislation that they don’t want?" he said.

The debate centers around the question of applying the 1967 Abortion Act, that makes abortion legal in the rest of Great Britain, to Northern Ireland.

Following up on the successful rally, Precious Life will be joined by representatives of the other Northern Ireland pro-life groups to make a presentation of 120,000 petitions to the Prime Minister today.

Smyth is concerned that the British Parliament could vote Wednesday to extend the abortion act.

"Tomorrow, exactly one year after the Northern Ireland Assembly voted against abortion – Westminster MPs could vote to force abortion on Northern Ireland," she said.

She said the "petitions presented to Gordon Brown will ensure that Westminster cannot ignore the fact that there is no will from the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland to extend the 1967 Abortion Act to this part of the United Kingdom."

Smyth concluded "Precious Life call on all Westminster MPs to acknowledge the clear pro-life message being sent out from the politicians, the churches, and the people in Northern Ireland. We urge all MPs in Westminster to vote against the amendment."

Related web sites:
Precious Life –

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