Pro-lifers have condemned the “absolutely disgraceful” and “disgusting” actions of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) after it instigated legal action – funded by UK taxpayers – against the UK Government over a “lack of commissioned and funded abortion services”.
Abortion was imposed on Northern Ireland by Westminster in October 2019. Section 9 of Westminster’s NI (Executive Formation etc) Act removed the sections of the Offences Against the Person Act that had previously protected unborn babies and their mothers from abortion in Northern Ireland and the new abortion regulations came into force on 31st March 2020.
However, Les Allamby, head of the NIHRC, has now initiated legal action against the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis; the Northern Ireland Executive; and the Department of Health (DoH) for “failing to commission and fund abortion services”.
Mr Allamby said the commission is “deeply concerned” at the lack of abortions in Northern Ireland and believes the failure of the Executive and DoH to fund and commission the services breaches the European Convention on Human Rights.
However, Bernadette Smyth, director of Precious Life, the largest pro-life group in Northern Ireland, condemned the NIHRC, saying its actions are “a direct threat to the most basic and fundamental human right of all – the right to life”.
“It is disgusting that this pro-abortion quango masquerading as a ‘Human Rights Commission’ is wanting to have more human beings killed – little human babies killed in their mother’s wombs. 664 babies have already been killed and that number will now be higher since October,” she said.
Ms Smyth said Precious Life has been exposing the NIHRC’s “abortion agenda” since 1999.
“For years the commission tried to deny it, but now they unashamedly admit they want abortion right up to the moment of birth,” she said.
“Their legal action now is all the more repugnant at this time when the NHS say it is stretched to breaking point trying to save lives. Yet Les Allamby wants taxpayers’ money used to kill even more unborn babies in Northern Ireland.
“At a time when necessary and life-saving care such as cancer treatments and screenings for breast cancer are being postponed to preserve hospital equipment, beds and staff, it is all the more outrageous to suggest that the killing of babies in the womb should be a priority. Yet abortions continue.
“The legal action from the NIHRC is a direct threat to the most basic and fundamental human right of all – the right to life – without it, all other rights are meaningless!”
Ms Smyth concluded: “Precious Life will continue exposing the pro-abortion agenda of Les Allamby and the so-called Human Rights Commission. We will continue campaigning to REPEAL SECTION 9 and RESTORE PERSONHOOD to our unborn babies. We will ‘name and shame’ and step up of protests outside the abortion centres in Northern Ireland where unborn babies are being killed.”
Catherine Robinson, of Right to Life UK, strongly criticised the use of taxpayers’ money to fund the legal action, branding it “absolutely disgraceful”.
“As a state-funded body, it is in fact our money that is being used to fund their activity,” she said.
“This money is then being used to put pressure on the Government, through the threat of legal action, to increase abortion access in a region that never wanted abortion in the first place.”
Moreover, Ms Robinson said they are using taxpayer money to “further dehumanise and eliminate from society the weakest and most vulnerable among us, unborn children”.
“This is rather ironic, given their self-proclaimed ‘mission’ to ‘champion and guard the rights of all those who live in Northern Ireland’,” she said.
“As with advocates of ‘DIY’ abortion, the lobbyists are showing their unwavering commitment to furthering abortion access at all costs, regardless of the impact that this has on mothers, let alone their children.”
A spokesperson for the DoH told The Guardian it had “advised that [it] is not required to commission the relevant services” and said that any “significant or controversial” had to be put before the Executive.
The DoH also said it was “not possible at present to give a timescale for the introduction of a fully commissioned abortion service”.
Picture: Archive photo shows Precious Life protesting against abortion outside Stormont. (Precious Life).