Northern Ireland news

Rev David McIlveen criticises DUP on abortion stance

Rev David McIlveen

A PROMINENT Free Presbyterian and close friend of the late Ian Paisley has criticised the DUP on abortion.

Rev David McIlveen said he believed that the party was trying to "expedite themselves" from decisions around the issue.

In July, MPs passed the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Act, which contained a provision placing a duty on the government to regulate to provide for access to abortion in Northern Ireland.

It comes into effect if the Stormont executive is not restored by October 21, with regulations required to be in place by the end of March.

Rev McIlveen was asked about the issue on the BBC's Nolan Live.

"I would say to the DUP and I would say to all political representatives, they are using circumstances to expedite themselves from responsible decisions," he said.

"I think it is important that they do get in and enter into an agreement at Stormont. There is no other way of reading it unfortunately because if they were really keen to get into a situation where they will legislate, then there's got to be a greater movement on their part to do that.

"They have moved away from what I perceive as the biblical interpretation of a pro-life position. This is more than a moral position, this is a biblical position."

DUP leader Arlene Foster was among politicians who signed a letter to the British prime minister calling for the decision on abortion to be reversed.

She described it as the most "insidious" clause in the bill.

She said abortion should remain a devolved matter and claimed that a majority of people in Northern Ireland would not support a change in the law that would bring the region into line with Britain.

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