Belfast Telegraph

Rally held in protest against abortion law changes

It was described as a ‘sombre occasion’.

Members of the Both Lives Matter campaign group hold an anti-abortion rally in the Falls Park in Belfast (Niall Carson/PA)
Members of the Both Lives Matter campaign group hold an anti-abortion rally in the Falls Park in Belfast (Niall Carson/PA)

By Aoife Moore, PA

A rally in protest of possible upcoming abortion law changes has been held in Belfast.

The gathering, organised by anti-abortion group Both Lives matter was described by organisers as “a cross-community, inter-generational, and peaceful” event, was held to demonstrate opposition to Westminster’s soon to be imposed abortion law changes in Northern Ireland.

A law tabled by Labour MP Stella Creasy, changing the current legislation  on abortion and marriage equality will be implemented in Northern Ireland on October 21 if the main Stormont parties cannot resolve the outstanding deadlock in the Assembly.

Speaking at the event in Falls Park on Sunday, attended by over 100 people, including members of the clergy and many children, organiser Dawn McAvoy said the event was a “sombre occasion”.

Over 100,000 people are alive in the north of Ireland today because we did not introduce the same abortion legislation as GB in 1967 Dawn McAvoy

Six balloons, to represent the six counties in Northern Ireland were released into the sky during six minutes of silence.

“Over 100,000 people are alive in the north of Ireland today because we did not introduce the same abortion legislation as GB in 1967.

Speaking on behalf of 'Both Lives Matter' - Marian Woods
Speaking on behalf of 'Both Lives Matter' - Marian Woods
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th October 2019 - Demonstrators pictured at a rally in Falls Park Belfast organised by ÔBoth Lives MatterÕ. The cross-community, inter-generational group is opposed to Westminster's abortion regime. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Speaking on behalf of 'Both Lives Matter' - Marian Woods
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 13th October 2019 - Demonstrators pictured at a rally in Falls Park Belfast organised by ÔBoth Lives MatterÕ. The cross-community, inter-generational group is opposed to Westminster's abortion regime. Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye. Speaking on behalf of 'Both Lives Matter' - Marian Woods

“These are people we know and love, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, daughters and sons, friends.”

She added that ” many people” are deeply concerned about the changes to the laws.

bpanews_cb27546a-3d7f-4fdd-a49d-1e6bc3a4d056_embedded24812269
General View of Parliament Buildings at Stormont, Belfast (Paul Faith/PA)

“This is a sensitive political moment with Brexit, the lack of local government and one of the biggest impending social policy changes in our history,”she said.

“Politicians are not sovereign, they represent the people, the people are sovereign they don’t speak for us, they didn’t speak in our name, but we are being failed doubly because our locally elected politicians have not taken their seats in the Assembly for nearly three years, that is why we have no voice, but we will be silent no more, and we say no to this abortion regime.

“This demonstration is a cross-community, inter-generational peaceful gathering to show opposition to Westminster’s imposition on this sensitive issue.

bpanews_cb27546a-3d7f-4fdd-a49d-1e6bc3a4d056_embedded246748597
Members of the Both Lives Matter campaign group (Niall Carson/PA)

“Neighbours from across the four corners of the city and beyond are coming to together to say ‘not in our name’, ‘silent no more’ and ‘take our hand, not our life’.”

Stormont has been in cold storage for over 1,000 days due to an ongoing stalemate between the two main parties, Sinn Fein and the DUP, over rights issues including abortion.

Although talks are ongoing, there does not appear to be any breakthrough expected.

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph