A taxpayer-funded public body in Northern Ireland has launched legal action against the UK Government, accusing it of providing insufficient abortion facilities.
At the end of March last year during the pandemic, a new liberal regime was introduced in the Province with abortions permitted up to twelve weeks for any or no reason, 24 weeks for most reasons, and up to birth if the unborn child is deemed to have a disability.
The Executive backed a motion opposing the imposition of the Westminster law in June, and while this did not affect the law, it made clear to Westminster that the regulations are not wanted by Northern Ireland’s elected representatives.
At present, just one of Northern Ireland’s five NHS hospital trusts is without an early medical abortion service, after a doctor went on maternity leave.
However, taxpayer-funded quango the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) says this is unacceptable.
It accused the Northern Ireland Secretary of unlawfully denying the rights of women in the region to have an abortion.
The Commission is also taking legal action against the Northern Ireland Executive and the Department of Health (DoH) for “failing to commission and fund abortion services”.
However, a spokesperson for the DoH said it “is not required to commission the relevant services”, and explained that “significant or controversial” issues have to be brought before the Executive.
The Christian Institute’s Northern Ireland Officer Callum Webster said: “at a time when the health service and the public are working so hard to protect human lives, the Human Rights Commission is squandering taxpayers’ money pursuing a legal case to destroy life”.