Belfast Telegraph

Presbyterian leader Dr William Henry urges members to sign abortion petition

Opposed: Rev Dr William Henry
Opposed: Rev Dr William Henry
Ralph Hewitt

By Ralph Hewitt

The Presbyterian Moderator has urged church members to sign an online petition started by former police ombudsman Baroness Nuala O'Loan in a bid to halt the reform of Northern Ireland's abortion laws.

The Change.org petition calls for the restoration of the Stormont Executive by October 21, which would mean that Westminster-based legislation would not be imposed.

Signing it was one of three "simple, but powerful steps" they could take, Dr William Henry told his 400-plus congregations and their ministers in Northern Ireland.

Dr Henry, who is also minister of Maze Presbyterian Church in Co Antrim, urged members to pray and to contact politicians "to encourage them to take the steps necessary to re-establish devolved government before October 21".

He said that "our political parties have it in their own hands to do something about this, which will involve taking risks and making the necessary compromises to restore the devolved institutions".

Meanwhile, the Moderator of the Ballymena Presbytery has called on the Secretary of State to recall the Assembly to prevent any change to abortion laws here.

In a letter to this newspaper, published today, Rev William Moody said his 20,000-strong congregation wanted to voice "outrage" over the shake-up.

The letter co-signed by Ballymena's Clerk of Presbytery, Rev Joseph Andrews, also says the new regime could potentially represent "abortion on demand".

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