After heated exchanges of opinions and views, both in and outside the chamber at Stormont today, some of the strongest words came from TUV leader Jim Allister.
After over 1000 days of an absent assembly, an attempt was made to restart business at Stormont today by some MLAs, in order to challenge reforms to the law surround abortion, which in the absent of a working government here, was passed by Westminster.
Alliance and Sinn Fein did not enter the chamber and the SDLP refused to give it’s support, walking out eventually, so a lack of cross community support meant business finished before it got started, under the terms of the Good Friday agreement.
Speaking during the brief sitting today, Mr Allister said;
“Until this moment, until this day in Northern Ireland, the safest place for an unborn child was in the sanctuary of its mother’s womb. Sadly, from tonight, the most dangerous place for some unborn will be in the mother’s womb because the wanton decision can be taken to kill them. That is really what we are talking about, and that is something which rightly provokes a lot of feeling. It is a matter of immense regret to me that this House has not been able to face up to that situation.
“The second point I wanted to make is that it is an illustration of the absurdity of the governmental arrangements in this place that a party such as Sinn Féin, which does not even want Northern Ireland to exist, can, by a veto, prevent this House from effectively doing any business. Unless and until that is changed, there is no hope for these institutions.”
The new abortion reform will bring the N.I. into line with the rest of the UK from midnight tonight. Midnight tonight will also see same sex couples now entitled to equal marriage.