Pro-lifers have vowed to fund a legal action against the UK government’s decision to impose abortion on Northern Ireland.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) is joining forces with the Centre for Bioethical Reform Northern Ireland (CBR NI) to mount a challenge to the Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021.
A powerful legal team has been assembled to fight the battle, which is crucial for the continuation of the pro-life movement in the province.
The Regulations give Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis power to direct the First and Deputy First Ministers and health, justice and education officials to implement a “fully-funded abortion service”.
Liam Gibson, SPUC’s Northern Ireland political officer, said the proposal represents “nothing less than an existential challenge to the very existence of the pro-life movement in Northern Ireland”.
“Men and women from all political backgrounds, faiths and traditions who view the right to life as the fundamental human right need to stand up and demand that the London government listens,” he said.
He encouraged people to speak out against the “illegitimate and unconstitutional Regulations” and give a voice to “the thousands of innocent children who lives will be lost if this power grab is allowed to succeed”.
“These Regulations give the Secretary of State the power to promote abortion in any way he sees fit,” Mr Gibson warned. “He can make sex education compulsory in all schools and demand that they arrange abortions for underage girls without the knowledge of their parents. He can run campaigns to change public opinion and ‘reduce the stigma’ of abortion. He can even have street signs erected to point people to abortion centres.”
Mr Gibson said abortion is a devolved matter and branded the move “a disgraceful power grab” by Westminster. “If allowed to stand it will not only condemn to death an untold number of unborn babies but fatally undermine devolution, too”.
SPUC has held talks with CBR NI following the recent decision by their member Pastor Clive Johnston of The Bridge Fellowship, Strabane, to issue a Pre-Action Protocol to the UK Government, claiming that the current regulations are legally outside the powers of the Secretary of State.
SPUC said it hopes to raise in excess of £100,000 to cover the court costs.
John Deighan, SPUC’s deputy CEO said: “These are the most challenging times the pro-life movement has ever faced in Northern Ireland, as London attempts to impose the most extreme abortion regime in Europe on an unwilling population.”
Picture: Pro-lifers and pro-abortion activists in the grounds of Stormont.