Congressman calls on UK to let N Ireland decide its own abortion laws

A US Congressman has said that Westminster’s imposition of abortion on Northern Ireland is “not the will of the people” and that abortion law must be left to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

New Jersey Representative, Chris Smith, penned a letter to the UK secretary of state, urging him to refer Northern Ireland’s abortion law back to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Mr Smith, who is co-chair of the Congressional Committee for Irish Affairs, and of the Bipartisan Pro-Life Caucus, said: “Imposing a liberal abortion regime upon Northern Ireland shows a contempt for the Good Friday Agreement’s devolution provisions, and weakens the entire agreement, which is the framework for the fragile peace that Northern Ireland has known.”

“Let Northern Ireland work this issue out through its own representative Assembly. Abortion on demand is not the will of the people in Northern Ireland, and if it were, Northern Ireland has a duly constituted Assembly by which it can balance equities and legislate on the matter.

“The democratic traditions of Westminster are some of the oldest in the world. The imposition of Section 9 fails the most fundamental test of any act of government, it neither reflects nor respects the will of the people, who have a right to expect that their Government act in their interest, and carry out their will. I thus appeal to you to re-examine your course of action and defer to the Northern Ireland Assembly, thereby allaying any doubts about HMG’s commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and the principle of devolution.”