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Bishop says change to NI abortion law would be tragedy

Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, John Sherrington has argued that changes to the Northern Ireland abortion amendment contradict the Church's teachings.

In a statement he said: "Last year there were over 200,000 abortions in England and Wales, extending this to Northern Ireland would be a tragedy for lives not yet born.

"The Church's consistent affirmation that human life begins at conception emphasises this unique beginning of human existence. The challenge that faces our society today is to recover an understanding of the immeasurable good of each unborn child and to value his or her life with even greater respect."

He added: "A legal framework for the protection of unborn human life is an important statement about the respect due to each and every child and about the society in which we live."

Abortion is a devolved issue in Northern Ireland, which means that the Assembly in Northern Ireland has the authority to make its own abortion law independent of the Government in Westminster.

Bishop Sherrington has condemned parliament for pushing forward amendments to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill in the House of Lords and threatening to undermine devolution.

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