Challenge launched against NI secretary’s abortion powers

Challenge launched against NI secretary’s abortion powers Secretary of State for the North, Brandon Lewis.

Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis’ “unprecedented” power to impose abortion “must be scrapped”, a pro-life organisation has said.

Bernadette Smyth of Precious Life made her comments as a legal challenge to Mr Lewis’ powers was launched in the North’s high court this week by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC).

The case will hear that Mr Lewis exceeded his legal authority when he granted himself an unprecedented level of control over abortion in Northern Ireland, and his actions are incompatible with the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

“Brandon Lewis’ abortion directive must be scrapped,” Ms Smyth said in a statement, October 4.

“He interfered in a devolved matter even though the NI Assembly is up and running. Westminster does not ignore the principles of devolution for Scotland and Wales, yet they have no hesitation in doing so in Northern Ireland.”

In her statement, Ms Smyth added that abortion was forced on Northern Ireland by the Westminster Parliament through Section 9 of the NI Executive Formation Act while the assembly was suspended.

“Westminster not only ignored the right to life of unborn babies, but also blatantly ignored democracy and devolution when it seized power to override our Stormont Assembly,” the director of Precious Life said.