Opposition to the horror of abortion on demand is something which unites people in Northern Ireland right across the community divide. Just over a year ago, 79% of respondents to a Government consultation said they were against abortion.
Tragically, as a result of draconian legislation introduced in Westminster in 2019 at a time when Stormont was suspended, Northern Ireland now has the most brutal abortion regime in western Europe. Under the absurd guise of “human rights”, human life in the womb can be deliberately snuffed out, for a whole variety of reasons, at any stage in a pregnancy. How can those who openly promote such cruelty then claim that they value human life? Such sickening hypocrisy is beneath contempt.
Abortion is a devolved matter. The place for discussion and decisions is the NI Assembly. We are therefore extremely perturbed to learn that the British Government is to ride roughshod over Stormont and impose further abortion legislation on our Province. This raises several very serious constitutional and ethical issues which undermine the foundations of devolution.
It is clear that in Brandon Lewis we have a Secretary of State who does not have the best interests of Northern Ireland at heart. He is a disgrace who is not fit to hold the office. And we also strongly suspect that there are officials in the Northern Ireland Office who have a direct-rule mentality and who are determined to keep pushing a strong pro-abortion agenda.
We are, of course, concerned for the welfare of women during difficult or unwanted pregnancies, and we want to see them receiving the best and most compassionate care available. But the killing of an unborn child is not the answer. On the contrary, it merely compounds the sense of sadness and tragedy. Those in the womb who have no voice need us to speak up for them.
We are now at a moment of crisis. We urge our political leaders to stand firm in the face of this outrageous Westminster bullying., and we assure them of our prayerful support as they do so.
James Anderson
Imperial Grand Master
Independent Loyal Orange Institution
19 March 2021