The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has announced a legal challenge to the UK Government’s plans to fund abortions in Northern Ireland.

Opposition from pro-life politicians and the breakdown of the Stormont Executive over the Northern Ireland Protocol has prevented the allocation of dedicated funding for abortion until now.

Last month, the new Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris announced his intention to finance the Northern Ireland Office’s plans to facilitate abortion by reallocating money from the existing health budget.

Liam Gibson, the SPUC’s Policy and Legal Officer, who is based in Northern Ireland, said the issuing of the 2021 Abortion Regulations ‘exceeded legal authority’.

“Although the High Court did not agree with our case, we believe that both the health department and the Northern Ireland Office have recognised that the 2021 Regulations and the Secretary of State’s subsequent directions are, at the very least, highly questionable,” Mr Gibson said.

“We’re confident that we can convince the Court of Appeal that we’re right.”

Mr Gibson said the appeal had helped prevent Westminster’s abortion agenda in Northern Ireland from being fully implemented.’

“As a result, the target set by the Secretary of State for 6500 abortions per year has not been reached,” he said.

“That means that the lives of over 8000 babies have been saved over the past two
years.”

SPUC’s challenge to the 2021 Abortion Regulations, heard by the Court of Appeal in Belfast today and tomorrow is expected to have a judgement early next year.

Photo credit: Paul McSherry