It might have been a coincidence that the Government decided to announce its framework for abortion in Northern Ireland on March 25, feast of the Annunciation and the date upon which Christians hold that the Virgin Mary conceived the Child Jesus.
The announcement was preceded by some anxious scenes in the House of Commons among pro-abortion Labour MPs, who sought assurances that the coronavirus pandemic would not derail the imposition of laws which are, in fact, opposed by nearly 80 per cent of people in the Province.
The rules, which took effect on Tuesday, create an abortion regime more liberal than the rest of the UK, allowing abortion on demand in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, up to 24 weeks for undefined mental or physical health reasons, and allowing nurses and midwives to carry out abortions along with doctors.
As Parliament wound up business before locking down, pro-abortion MPs also attempted to hijack the Coronavirus Bill with amendments to liberalise abortion laws for the rest of the UK.
The proposals were resisted but five days later the Government, out of the blue, permitted “telemedicine” abortions, whereby mothers will be able take a pill at home after consulting just one doctor or other medical professional by Skype or Facetime.
The new “DIY abortions” were described by Right to Life, the pro-life group, as “the biggest change to abortion provision since 1967”, and will be introduced without public consultation, parliamentary scrutiny or debate.
Spokeswoman Catherine Robinson called for the immediate repeal of the policy, noting that once in the community the abortion pills could be taken by anyone. “This places women at risk,” she said.
It is doubly ironic that such efforts are being made to take lives at a time when so many lives are threatened from other sources, and that a law passed to end backstreet abortions is being changed by stealth to, in effect, permit such a practice.