Stormont rally opposes any abortion law change

Ian Paisley Jr and Rosemary Dana Scallon, The gathering included DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr, former MEP Rosemary Dana Scallon, and Fianna Fail Senator Jim Walsh

Related Stories

Campaigners and politicians from NI and the Irish Republic have gathered at Stormont to oppose any change to abortion laws on the island of Ireland.

The gathering was sponsored by the DUP and SDLP.

It included DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr, former MEP Rosemary Dana Scallon, and Fianna Fail Senator Jim Walsh.

Mr Paisley urged Sinn Fein to rethink its opposition to a DUP, SDLP amendment that would prevent private clinics in NI from carrying out abortions.

Mr Paisley said a Catholic priest from west Belfast had approached him to express concern about the issue.

Bernie Kelly from Precious Life, which campaigns against abortion, said her organisation had launched a Facebook campaign challenging Sinn Fein's attitude.

Sinn Fein has said it opposes a plan to amend Northern Ireland's law and stop abortions performed outside the NHS.

Caitriona Ruane said the move by the DUP's Paul Givan and the SDLP's Alban Maginness was an attempt to restrict a woman's right to obtain a termination in life-threatening circumstances.

The amendment to the criminal justice bill will be debated and voted on in the Northern Ireland Assembly next Tuesday.

Sinn Fein has not said if it will attempt to block the change.

Mr Givan and Mr Maginness unveiled a joint amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill on Wednesday.

They said they were confident it would win sufficient support to be passed into law in Northern Ireland this year.

They said they were closing a loophole in the law.

The plan to amend the law follows the opening of a private abortion and family planning clinic in Belfast last autumn.

Marie Stopes International has said it operates within the current law in Northern Ireland, which is different from the rest of the UK as it only allows for abortion when the mother's physical or mental health is in danger.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Northern Ireland stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • SyedTanks instead of toys

    Lyse Doucet on the plight of children in Syria and Gaza


  • Silhouette of manSuper-shy

    Why do Germany's super-rich so often keep their heads down?


  • Children playing in Seoul fountainDay in pictures

    The best news photos from around the world in the past 24 hours


  • Gin drinkerMother's ruin

    The time when gin was full of sulphuric acid and turpentine


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • EscaladeBling's the thing

    The ostentatious Cadillac Escalade cruises into 2015 with fuel-gulping gusto

Programmes

  • The smartphones of shoppers being tracked in a storeClick Watch

    How free wi-fi can enable businesses to track our movements and learn more about us

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.