Catholic Bishops: “The Right to Life of Every Mother and Unborn Baby Must be Upheld and Protected”

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 23, 2021   |   9:57AM   |   Washington, DC

The Catholic bishops of Northern Ireland spoke out Monday against a push to force the country to expand the killing of unborn babies in abortions.

The pro-life country was forced to legalize abortion in 2019 when its legislative body was not functioning. Even though more than 1,000 unborn babies already have been aborted in Northern Ireland as a result, that apparently is not enough.

Responding to demands from abortion activists, the British government and Secretary of State Brandon Lewis plan to take action Tuesday to force the Northern Ireland Department of Health to expand abortions throughout the country, according to the Irish Examiner.

“What Westminster seeks to impose, against the clear will of a majority of people here is a law which blatantly undermines the right to life of unborn children and promotes an abhorrent and indefensible prejudice against persons with disabilities, even before they are born,” the Catholic bishops responded in a statement Monday.

The Vatican News reports the five bishops in the country emphasized that society should uphold and protect “the equal right to life of every mother and her unborn baby.”

“We are deeply concerned by the announcement that the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland intends to bypass the NI Assembly to force the Minister for Health here to commission some of the most extreme and liberal abortion services on these islands,” the bishops continued.

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They encouraged Catholics to contact their local lawmakers, or MLAs, and urge them to oppose the plan, the Catholic News Agency reports.

“We call on all local MLAs and political parties to speak out against the extreme and profoundly discriminatory nature of these abortion regulations, which the Secretary of State seeks to impose over their heads,” the bishops said.

Here’s more from the report:

Brandon Lewis, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, is expected to unveil the new regulations at Westminster, enabling him to direct the Northern Ireland Department of Health from London to provide expanded abortion services.

The Guardian newspaper reported on March 13 that the regulations would impose a statutory duty on the Department of Health, and associated bodies, to provide full local access to abortions.

The British government forced Northern Ireland to legalize abortion on demand in 2019 while its assembly was not functioning. The law allows abortions for any reason up to 12 weeks and up to birth in cases of “severe fetal impairment” or fatal fetal anomalies.

Last year, abortion activists began complaining that there were not enough doctors or midwives in Northern Ireland willing to abort unborn babies.

However, many doctors and nurses in the country have warned that they will quit if they are forced to help abort unborn babies. In a December 2019 letter to Northern Ireland Secretary of State Julian Smith, 135 doctors, nurses, midwives and pharmacists expressed their concerns about being forced to help abort unborn babies under the new law, the Belfast Telegraph reported at the time.

“Many healthcare professionals entered their profession because they desired to protect and uphold life,” the medical workers wrote. “Consequently, many object to any involvement in abortion provision which by its very nature involves the ending of human life.”