Rise in NI women going to England for abortions

Rise in NI women going to England for abortions

Rise in NI women going to England for abortions

But although Supreme Court Judges have acknowledged that the law clashes with human rights, they rejected a challenge brought by the Northern-Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) on technical grounds, The Independent reports.

Four of the seven judges agreed that Northern Ireland abortion law is incompatible with the ECHR in cases of fatal fetal abnormality, rape, and incest.

But that revolution has not resulted in any legal change next door in Northern Ireland, where women can still only terminate a pregnancy if it poses a serious risk to their life or health.

But they said the law was incompatible with the right to respect for private and family life as guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights.

"This ruling makes clear that there is no legal requirement for a law change in Northern Ireland".

British-ruled Northern Ireland is left as the only part of Britain or Ireland with such a restrictive regime, after voters in the Irish republic backed the removal of a ban in a landslide vote last month that sparked calls for change in the North. The woman, Amanda Mallet had approached the United Nations asking it to denounce the prohibition on abortions in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities as "cruel and inhumane".

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Their reason for doing so was that the NIHRC did not have a "standing" to win the case in court, as it was not itself a victim, and therefore the court was unable to make a declaration of incompatibility. But Justice Brian F Kerr said that they "must be worthy of close consideration by those in whose power it lies to decide whether the law should be altered". Now the highest court in the land has recognised that Northern Ireland is in breach of human rights for people who find themselves with fatal foetal abnormality. The Northern Ireland director of the Royal College of Midwives made a similar comment.

The number means women and girls from the Republic of Ireland accounted for over six in 10 (64.3%) of non-resident abortions past year.

DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the NIHRC had questions to answer about the cost of taking the case and why "it chose to act beyond its competence in such a sensitive issue".

The push for the legalization of abortion in Northern Ireland is not a new campaign, and has gained traction with the overturn of an abortion ban in the Republic of Ireland only weeks ago. "I hope this ruling means that things will change so no more women have to go through what I, and so many others, already have". "Those responsible for ensuring the compatibility of Northern Irish law, will no doubt recognise and take account of these conclusions...by considering how to amend the law, in the light of the ongoing suffering being caused by it". "It's my strong, personal view that it is completely unsustainable for us to have a different law from the south on abortion".

He said the divisions among Supreme Court justices on the Northern Ireland laws revealed a "complete lack of consensus" on the matter.

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