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Washington D.C., Jul 20, 2019 / 12:00 am (CNA).- The British Parliament is imposing its will on the citizens of Northern Ireland by passing legislation decriminalizing abortion there, one Catholic lawmaker says.
“We know that the last vote to be held in the United Kingdom in any of the jurisdictions was in Northern Ireland, where they said they didn’t want these laws,” Lord David Alton of Liverpool, an independent member of the UK House of Lords and a Catholic, told CNA on Thursday.
Classes - Westminster - Beliefs - People - Northern
“But they have been imposed by the metropolitan classes at Westminster, over and above the beliefs of the people of Northern Ireland.”
The Northern Ireland Assembly in 2016 successfully opposed legal abortion, but because the assembly is currently not functional due to a dispute between its two major political parties, the British Parliament has passed an Executive Formation bill meant to serve as a temporary legislative replacement. It will take effect if the Assembly is not functional by October 21. The legislation includes amendments legalizing abortion and same-sex marriage.
Wednesday - Northern - Ireland - Executive - Formation
On Wednesday, the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill passed the UK House of Lords by a 182-37 vote, after passing the House of Commons the week prior. The House of Lords also included an amendment delaying the introduction of legal same-sex marriage until 2020.
In response, the Northern Ireland Catholic bishops’ conference condemned the legislation’s “unprecedented” use of authority to legalize abortion in the region.
Lord - Alton - CNA - Event - Ministerial
Lord Alton spoke with CNA at a side event of the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, held at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. from July 15-19. The second annual gathering of religious and civic leaders from around the world featured discussions of religious persecution and how best to promote freedom of religion around the globe.
In his interview with CNA on Thursday, Lord Alton noted that the effort...
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