Pro-life group loses appeal against NI Secretary’s push on abortion services

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has lost its appeal against the former Northern Ireland Secretary’s intervention to increase abortion services in the Province.

The pro-life group argued that Brandon Lewis “exceeded his lawful authority” when he directed Stormont Ministers to implement Westminster’s abortion agenda.

Northern Ireland’s former Attorney General, John Larkin, a highly respected KC, represented SPUC in challenging the Government’s decision to grant these powers to the NI Secretary.

Imposed by Westminster

Stormont rejected the pro-abortion regulations by 46 to 40 votes in June 2020, but its concerns were dismissed as Westminster politicians forced the changes through.

In December 2022, the new NI Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris carried out Westminster’s threat when he formally commissioned nationwide abortion services in Northern Ireland, using powers that do not require the approval of the NI Executive.

SPUC maintains that a large section of the public “remains steadfastly opposed” to the radical abortion laws imposed on the Province.

Contentious issues

Responding to the Court of Appeal’s decision, Liam Gibson, SPUC’s Policy and Legal Officer, said: “The Court says that unborn children are not part of the community and therefore have no legal rights.

“That is an opinion that a large section of the population of Northern Ireland rejects”.

During the Government’s consultation in 2019, 79 per cent of 21,000 respondents opposed legalising abortion in Northern Ireland.

Also see:

NI Secretary intervenes again to push abortion services

Westminster demands NI rolls out abortion services more quickly

Westminster considers forcing NI to comply with unwanted abortion regs

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