Belfast Telegraph

Figures from across political divide unite to oppose abortion law changes in Northern Ireland

Call: Baroness Nuala O’Loan
Call: Baroness Nuala O’Loan
Ralph Hewitt

By Ralph Hewitt

A group made up of figures from across the political spectrum has accused Westminster politicians of treating Northern Ireland with "contempt" over abortion reform.

Writing in this newspaper today, 10 politicians, along with former Police Ombudsman Baroness Nuala O'Loan, call on the Government to step back from the "ill-conceived" changes to the law.

They say the modifications go far beyond that which is required by Parliament.

The politicians who signed the letter include the DUP's Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, Paul Givan MLA and Upper Bann Westminster candidate Carla Lockhart. Giving their support from the UUP, meanwhile, are former leader Robin Swann, Robbie Butler MLA and Fermanagh and South Tyrone Westminster candidate Tom Elliot.

From the other side of the political divide, SDLP South Down Westminster candidate Michael Savage, South Antrim Westminster candidate Roisin Lynch, Patsy McGlone MLA and Aontu's Derry City and Strabane councillor Anne McCloskey add their name to the letter.

They say that a coalition of English, Welsh and Scottish MPs saw fit to impose changes to the abortion regime despite local MPs voting against the move.

Abortion was decriminalised in the absence of a Stormont Executive after the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Act came into force in October following a Westminster vote in July.

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