The Reverend William Moody, Moderator of the Presbytery of Ballymena, issued the following statement to the media –
“The Ballymena Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, representing approximately 20,000 people, mainly in the Mid and East Antrim Area, want to voice our outrage at the prospect of an almost unregulated abortion regime being imposed on Northern Ireland as a result of legislation passed at Westminster. That is unless of course a functioning executive returns to Stormont by October 21.
“We call on the secretary of state to recall the assembly before October 21 and urge all our politicians in the strongest possible terms to do everything in their power to make this happen, in order to prevent the imposition of what will be the most radical abortion regime in western Europe. We also call for a moratorium on any changes to the current legal framework on abortion until there has been proper consultation with the people of Northern Ireland, especially health care workers, which takes into consideration how the best possible health care can be delivered for everyone in our society.
“As Christians we believe that all human life is valuable and precious from conception to death and that the unborn is fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. Given the recent strong sense of public feeling expressed through pro-life protests, media articles, petitions and the joint Church Leaders’ Statement we believe that the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland do not want any change to the legislation on abortion as it currently stands.
“We are also deeply concerned about the lack of regulations regarding the provision of abortion services in the five months following October 21 where there is the potential for abortion on demand. Additionally, we want to voice our support for our health care workers for whom there will be no protection during this unregulated period. We are also gravely concerned with the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission’s apparent belief that there is a human right to end human life. There should be a balance between the rights given to the mother and to the unborn child. Surely the most vulnerable in our society, the unborn children and all the potential that they have, deserve better?
“As a Presbytery we also call on all our members to continue providing Christian love and care for everyone, with a special emphasis of practical and prayerful support for women and their families for whom these particular issues are very pressing. God’s love displayed through Christ is still the core message which compels us and our primary calling remains that of bringing the Good News of the saving power, grace and mercy of the cross of Jesus Christ to everyone.”