DUP councillor blames coronavirus pandemic as ‘God’s judgment’ for legalising abortion
The coronavirus pandemic represents God’s judgment after an “immoral and corrupt” Government legalised abortion in Northern Ireland, a DUP councillor has said.
John Carson represents Ballymena, Co Antrim, which was the former stronghold of ex-leader and Christian preacher the late Ian Paisley.
His party strongly opposed Westminster legislation liberalising the law surrounding terminations, but his latest comments were made in a personal capacity.
Mr Carson (pictured) said: “I said when abortion was legalised that our nation would be judged by God because of its departure from his word and the legalisation of the murder of the unborn child as well as same-sex marriage.
“I was laughed at and mocked by some but as I said at the time, they laughed at Noah until the rain started.
“You reap what you sow and our nation is now reaping the judgment of God because of an immoral and corrupt Government.
“It is time to repent and turn again to the God of our fathers.”
The DUP has distanced itself from the comments.
Earlier this week, a senior party member claimed Northern Ireland has introduced the most extreme abortion laws in Europe.
Westminster MPs passed provisions on terminations last year in the absence of the powersharing Assembly.
The regulations will allow terminations on request for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and up to 24 weeks in the case of a risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or girl.
Abortion will also be available in cases of severe and fatal foetal anomalies, with no gestational limit.
Campaigners have claimed many barriers still exist to terminations after 12 weeks, and they have called for greater use of telemedicine to provide pills, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Rainbow Project, a Belfast-based LGBT support organisation, said: “It is disgraceful but not at all surprising that a DUP elected member would try to blame LGBT people and our partners in the women’s movement for the coronavirus outbreak, just as they have blamed us for Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters in the past.”
The statement said the group is supporting its communities at a difficult time.
The organisation added: “We look forward to hearing from Arlene Foster a strong denunciation of this disgusting slur from her councillor John Carson.”
Mr Carson is a member of the Royal British Legion and a strong supporter of veterans, according to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s website. He is also part of the Orange Order.
The councillor works to help the elderly age well, build sustainable communities and sits on policing scrutiny and military reservist organisations.
Peter Lynas, UK director of the Evangelical Alliance, said they were unhelpful comments and the media would “go to town” on them.
“The church response is one of compassion, practical needs like food banks, lament, hope and prayer.”
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