Labour slammed for threat to override democratic settlement in Northern Ireland on abortion
8 February 2018
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has responded to news that Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Owen Smith is heading up a delegation of Labour MPs in Belfast today for a discussion on the reform of Northern Ireland's abortion law.
The meeting is being hosted by Amnesty International and the Family Planning Association (FPA).
Liam Gibson, SPUC’s Northern Ireland Development Officer, slammed the meeting, saying: “Owen Smith’s threat to impose Britain’s liberal abortion regime on Northern Ireland displays an utter contempt for the basic principles of representative democracy. Labour does not organise in Northern Ireland and no one here voted for the party. So his claim that imposing the Abortion Act on the Province would be in line with Labour’s 2017 manifesto is no justification for what would simply be an abuse of power by Westminster politicians.
“In February 2016 the Northern Ireland Assembly voted to maintain the current level of protection for children before birth,” Mr Gibson continued. “All the parties at Westminster should respect that decision. If the Labour Party were to carry out its threat to override the democratic settlement in the Province in order to push Amnesty International’s extremist and unpopular abortion agenda, it would severely damage the credibility of the political process and make the existence of the Assembly meaningless.”
Furthermore, he said, “Mr Smith’s statement shows that Labour is prepared to abandon the constitutional arrangements established by the Belfast Agreement in the interests of the British abortion industry - An industry which has been repeatedly condemned by the Care Quality Commission for violations of the law and endangering the lives of women.
“Such a complete disregard for the right of the people of Northern Ireland to their own laws on devolved matters also demonstrates the anti-democratic tendencies of those who are now in control of the Labour Party,” he concluded.
“Every abortion is an act of lethal violence directed at an unborn child and can never be justified. In January 2017 a leading economist estimated that Northern Ireland’s pro-life laws have saved the lives of at least 100,000 babies since 1967.”
Liam Gibson can be contacted on: