Walk protesting against the ‘imposition of laws’ expected to draw thousands to Stormont Estate
Thousands of people are expected to join a silent walk on Stormont tonight in protest at Westminster's imposition of what they call "extreme abortion laws" on the people of Northern Ireland.
Starting at 7pm at the Stormont Estate, the walk is open to all who wish to express their anger and frustration at the intended law change.
The event follows the decision by MPs and peers at Westminster on July 10 to vote for amendments tabled to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill, which will introduce new abortion laws from October 22 unless the Assembly is restored.
The new legislation will mean abortions will be allowed, potentially up to 28 weeks - almost seven months - for any reason, including gender selection, disability and socio-economic issues.
Christian organisation CARE NI said the "radical change will have severe and damaging consequences" and called the decision by MPs and peers "out of step with what people in Northern Ireland actually want".
CARE NI, which will have hundreds of members taking part in the walk, is running a billboard campaign across Northern Ireland titled 'Fearfully and Wonderfully Made', highlighting its position.
"There is real anger and unrest here about how Westminster has imposed such profound social changes on Northern Ireland without any consultation," CARE NI director Tim Martin said. "Our current law on abortion is a life-affirming one and we believe it sends a positive message that both the lives of mothers and babies matter.
"Almost 2,000 people came together in St Anne's Cathedral for our prayer gathering on Monday night and we are privileged to be joining with many others at the walk tonight.
"Peacefully and with purpose, we will send a clear message to our elected representatives.
"We want to see the Assembly restored so that decisions about abortion law can be made in Northern Ireland."
CARE NI policy officer Mark Baillie added the sensitive matter must be decided at Stormont, not at Westminster.