N Ireland sees effort to recall Assembly ahead of abortion changes

Catholic News Agency | 10/18/2019 | Staff
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Belfast, Northern Ireland, Oct 18, 2019 / 12:23 am (CNA).- Pro-life groups in Northern Ireland are hopeful that there is sufficient support in the legislature to block an expansion of legal abortion from going into effect next week.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, the pro-life group Both Lives Matter says 30 members of the legislative assembly have pledged to ask the Speaker to recall the Assembly, which the Speaker will be obligated to do under Northern Ireland law.

Order - Abortion - Measures - Place - Executive

In order to block the new abortion measures from taking place, however, an Executive would need to be formed, which is unlikely before the Monday deadline, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The British parliament voted in July to add same-sex marriage and a loosening of abortion restrictions as amendments to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill, which is designed to keep the region running amid a protracted deadlock in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Northern - Ireland - Assembly - Oct - Expansion

If Northern Ireland Assembly is not reconvened by Oct. 21, the expansion of abortion rights and the legalization of same-sex marriage will take effect. Secretary Julian Smith would be mandated to put the laws into effect by March 31, 2020.

The Northern Ireland Assembly has been suspended for the past two years due to a dispute between the two major governing parties. The DUP, the largest party, is opposed to changing the law. Sinn Féin, another prominent party in Northern Ireland, backs a liberalization of the abortion law.

DUP - Assembly - Pre-conditions - Media - Reports

The DUP has said it is ready to return to the Assembly “immediately without pre-conditions,” according to local media reports.

Talks over the matter are being held Thursday and Friday.

Governments - Share - View - Opportunity - Days

“The British and Irish Governments both share the view that there remains an opportunity in the coming days to reach an accommodation,” Northern Ireland minister Robin Walker said Wednesday, according to the Guardian.

“One only has to look at the passionate...
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