A new initiative at Stormont has united politicians and campaigners from north and south against any move to have abortion legalised in Ireland.
Amongst those attending the gathering in Belfast were representatives from across the political divide and from the Houses north and south.
They included MLA's Jim Wells, Danny Kennedy, Paul Givan, and Pat Ramsey MLA, along with Ian Paisley Jnr MP, Jeffrey Donaldson MP, former MEPs Dana Rosemary Scallon and Kathy Sinnott, and Senator Jim Walsh.
Bernadette Smyth of Precious Life who attended also noted messages of support from Edwin Vassallo MP of Malta, Lord David Alton, Lord Windsor, Luca Volonté MEP, Diane Dodds MEP, Fiona Bruce MP.
Those attending stressed the vital importance of not decriminalising abortion and of upholding the 1861 Act, including sections 58 & 59. They also urged support for the amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill, which will be voted on by the Northern Ireland Assembly tomorrow.
Paul Givan MLA, said that the pro-life position unites communities, and that Sinn Fein must reflect on their opposition to legislation designed to protect unborn children, while Pat Ramsey of the SDLP said the pro-life point of view represents the majority.
Former MEP Kathy Sinnott said that politicians must move out of their comfort zones to defend the right to life and if a woman’s life is in danger then she should be in a hospital and not an abortion clinic. Dana Rosemary Scallon said that all values are worth defending and at this moment we must defend the value of life as the fundamental right to life is the basis of all other rights
Senator Jim Walsh said the Supreme Court’s ruling on the X case was "deeply flawed" and warned that legislating for abortion, even in strictly controlled circumstances, was "always the thin end of the wedge".
Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute welcomed the initiative which she sais was almost unprecedented and showed the strength of pro-life convictions across the island of Ireland.
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