Northern Ireland

Catholic bishops back abortion bill amendment

pregnancy test
Image caption Abortions are not illegal in NI but are very strictly controlled

Catholic Bishops in Northern Ireland are backing a proposed amendment to Stormont's Criminal Justice Bill, dealing with abortion.

Paul Givan, DUP, and Alban Maginness, SDLP, have tabled the amendment.

It would prevent private clinics from performing abortions, and restrict the practice to the NHS in exceptional cases.

Abortions are not illegal in NI but are very strictly controlled.

Sinn Fein is opposed to the proposed amendment.

The bishops have issued a statement, encouraging Catholics to support politicians who are backing the proposal.

The amendment was tabled with the assembly's bills office last Wednesday.

The Criminal Justice Bill was due for further consideration on Tuesday.

However, it has been delayed due to a lack of executive agreement on a separate issue.

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