NI pro-lifers ‘squeezed’ by Westminister and RoI on abortion

NI pro-lifers ‘squeezed’ by Westminister and RoI on abortion Tracy Harkin of the Iona Institute

Some Northern Irish Catholics are “upset” and “disappointed” that two pro-choice Government ministers from the Republic were given a platform to push for liberalised abortion laws at a prominent Catholic teaching college.

According to Tracy Harkin of the Iona Institute it was inappropriate to allow two politicians who have been “actively vocal against Church teaching” to speak at an institution that “symbolises the formation of the next generation of teachers”.

Last week Health Minister Simon Harris told attendees at an event in St Mary’s University College in Belfast that he intends to ensure women from the North can access abortion services in the south.


He also said he respected the issue of abortion laws in North, but that he “really hope this issue is addressed in the near future”.

Tracy Harkin told The Irish Catholic: “It’s very clear here that there is not a will among Northern Ireland people to liberalise the abortion law.

“That they can come here, over the border, and push that agenda up here, I think there’s huge issues with that.”

She said Minister Harris was not respecting democracy with his comments.

“What we do know is, on a practical level, when the Westminister government recently funded abortion for women from Northern Ireland the rates went up alarmingly so we know that there’s going to be lives lost, so that’s why we need to really resist that whether it’s coming from London or from the south.”

“In Northern Ireland we’re feeling very squeezed at the moment.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s attendance at the same university previously – to open the community festival West Belfast Belfast Féile an Phobail – was protested by pro-life group Precious Life, who accused him of being “anti-Catholic”.