Northern Ireland

Anti-abortion protest: Crowds march to Stormont in silence

Protesters stand in front of Stormont shining torches
Image caption The protest comes after legislation was passed to bring Northern Ireland more into line with the rest of the UK if devolution does not return by 21 October

Crowds have gathered at Stormont to protest against potential changes to Northern Ireland's abortion law.

Protesters walked in silence to show their opposition to what organisers described as "the liberalisation of abortion".

Abortion is only available in Northern Ireland in limited circumstances.

In July, legislation was passed to bring NI more into line with the rest of the UK if devolution doesn't return by 21 October.

Image caption Protesters walked to the steps at the door of Stormont

Paul Coulter, organiser of the event, said the people of Northern Ireland had not been consulted about plans to change the law.

"Some of us as ordinary people just couldn't sit by and not stand and be counted," he said.

"We weren't asked about this, our elected representatives don't support this and public opinion here doesn't support it."

Campaigners, church groups, politicians and individuals were among those who took part in the rally.

Participants gathered at the gates of Stormont, before walking towards Parliament Buildings where they stood in silence for six minutes.

Last October, an Amnesty International poll said two-thirds of people in Northern Ireland felt it was time MPs in Westminster changed the abortion laws, given there was no government in Northern Ireland.

That poll also suggested that 65% of people thought that having an abortion should not be a crime.

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