Thursday, 23 May, 2019

Supreme Court rejects NI Human Rights Commission abortion law appeal

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Deanna Wagner | 10 June, 2018, 19:27

This court made a ruling that this court has no right to make decisions for Northern Ireland.

Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International's Northern Ireland campaigner, said: "The highest court in the land has ruled that the United Kingdom is in breach of its own human rights obligations to women in Northern Ireland who are governed by this draconian law".

The law allows for abortions in Northern Ireland only if a woman's life is at risk or if there is a risk of permanent and serious damage to her mental or physical health.

A majority of a seven-strong panel of Supreme Court justices ruled against the NIHRC, saying the case could only have been brought by a woman impacted by the abortion ban.

Although the case was technically dismissed and the judges didn't formally declare incompatibility, Thursday's judgment could put political pressure on Northern Ireland's government to deal with the issue. We now need to discuss how to provide better support for women in these very hard situations rather than liberalising abortion laws.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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"If an individual victim did return to court in relation to the present law, a formal declaration of incompatibility would in all likelihood be made".

"Nor do they cite D v Ireland, where the European Court rejected an application claiming a right to access abortion in the case of fatal foetal abnormality.a decision which runs completely contrary to the Supreme Court's findings".

Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom where the procedure is banned except in exceptional circumstances. While campaigners across the world are rejoicing the victory, they are also remembering India's Savita Halappanavar who is said to be the trigger behind the referendum. If there's any testament that we need to get rid of this inhumane abortion ban, it's that. That historic change has inspired many people in Northern-Ireland to do the same.

"How much better could this money have been used over numerous years to help and enable women and families facing the devastating news that their unborn baby has been diagnosed with a life-limiting condition or a woman facing the trauma of sexual crime and resulting pregnancy?" The NIHRC did not have standing in this case. "Today I believe we have voted for the next generation", he said.

Campaigners celebrate result of the Republic of Ireland referendum which showed a landslide decision in favour of repealing the constitutional ban on abortions. "There is a right to life in the whole process of human rights law". The time is ripe for steps to be taken which ensure that abortion law throughout the United Kingdom is consistent. Dismissing calls for Prime Minister Theresa May to intervene, Sir Jeffrey added: "This is a devolved matter and any attempt to change the law without the consent of the Assembly would be a breach of the devolution settlement".