Catholic bishops criticized the British government this week for its “unjust” orders forcing Northern Ireland to legalize and expand abortions.
The Irish Times reports Catholic bishops in Northern Ireland and Ireland issued a joint statement lamenting the orders and encouraging people to vote pro-life when Northern Ireland elects a new Assembly in 2021.
“We encourage 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,” the bishops said.
Northern Ireland was forced to legalize abortion in 2019 while its legislative body was not functioning. Since then, more than 1,000 unborn babies have been aborted in the country.
Earlier this month, Secretary of State Brandon Lewis ordered the Northern Ireland Department of Health to expand abortions throughout the country, meaning all hospitals will be forced to abort unborn babies starting next spring.
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The bishops slammed the order, noting how the people of Northern Ireland have continually rejected “the brutality and demeaning of human dignity that occurs when the right to life is diminished in any way,” according to the report.
“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,’” they continued.
“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,” the bishops said.
They urged everyone to speak out against the injustice and tell politicians that “unborn children are human beings worthy of protection.”
“… we encourage all Catholics and those who share our views on the inviolability of all human life to reflect carefully on the issues raised by this succession of unilateral impositions by the Westminster government,” they said.
The British government forced Northern Ireland to legalize abortion on demand in 2019 while the country’s legislative body 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.
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.”