Northern Ireland abortion law ruled to breach human rights
High court in Belfast rules against Northern Ireland’s strict abortion law
Rory Carroll, Ireland correspondent
Thu 3 Oct 2019
Northern Ireland’s near-blanket abortion ban breaches the UK’s human rights commitments, the high court in Belfast has ruled.
The decision, on Thursday, was made following a case brought by Sarah Ewart, 29, who was denied a termination in 2013 despite a scan showing the foetus she was carrying would not survive.
UK / SPAIN – The Court of Appeal upholds the legality of a buffer zone around a London abortion clinic
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Aug 23, 2019
The buffer zone around the clinic was imposed by the London council of Ealing in April 2018, but the call to impose national buffer zones around all clinics was rejected by the Conservative government’s Home Secretary in September 2018, in spite of the existence of strong evidence presented to him for imposing them.
This new judgment, handed down by Lady Justice Eleanor King and Lady Justice Nicola Davies is the first at appeal court level and provides solid case law for backing for other Public Spaces Protection Orders in the future.
She helped her 15 year old get an abortion. Now she's facing charges in Northern Ireland
By Haley Ott
June 26, 2019
London -- A woman is facing criminal charges in Northern Ireland for getting her 15-year-old daughter abortion pills to end an unwanted pregnancy in 2013. The woman's lawyer says the police were alerted after the daughter, who was in an abusive relationship, told a therapist she had taken the pills. The woman's legal team is challenging the prosecution.
Abortion is against the law in Northern Ireland except when a pregnant woman's health is at risk of permanent harm. There are no exceptions in cases of rape or incest. Women who have illegal abortions can face up to life in prison if caught, and medical professionals are required to report anyone who has had one to the authorities.
Abortion law change: Is Northern Ireland really next?
Pro-choice activists in the North hope a string of court cases will advance their cause
Sat, Jan 12, 2019
On the 29th of this month, Sarah Ewart will appear before the High court in Belfast to present her case that women in Northern Ireland should have access to rights enjoyed by women in all other parts of the United Kingdom.
Ewart is bracing herself – this appearance, while demanding, will be infinitely less agonising than other ordeals she has been through. Five years ago, aged 23, the Belfast woman travelled to an abortion clinic in England to terminate a much wanted pregnancy that was otherwise going to end with the birth of a baby with a foetal abnormality.
Abortion for a select few wasn’t the goal when we campaigned to repeal the eighth – but that’s exactly what’s happening
Now that it’s emerged that Northern Irish people seeking abortion services in the republic will have to pay €450, it’s clear this isn’t the end of the fight for legalisation in Ireland
Jan 7, 2019
In May of last year, when Ireland voted for legalisation of abortion in its historic referendum, pro-choice campaigners on both sides of the Northern Irish-Irish border celebrated. The campaign to repeal the eighth amendment (the law that previously made abortion illegal in Ireland) had begun as a grassroots movement, culminating in a mass cultural shift led by both Irish and Northern Irish activists.
Many in the north, particularly those in border counties, canvassed in the republic, held fundraisers and rallies, and threw themselves behind pushing for a Yes vote despite not being able to vote in the referendum themselves.
Abortion pills prosecution could have 'chilling effect'
By Catherine Smyth, BBC News NI
6 November 2018
The decision to prosecute a woman accused of buying abortion pills for her 15-year-old daughter could have a "chilling effect" on woman and girls in a similar situation, a court has heard.
A lawyer representing the Northern Irish woman made the comments at the High Court in Belfast. The woman is challenging the decision to prosecute her.
New inquiry: Abortion law in Northern Ireland
The Women and Equalities Committee launches inquiry looking into abortion law in Northern Ireland.
20 September 2018
In Northern Ireland, abortion is only legal in circumstances where the woman’s life is in danger or the pregnancy poses a serious, permanent or long-term risk to her health and wellbeing.
In 2016, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women conducted an inquiry on the subject of access to abortion in Northern Ireland. It concluded that the rights of women in Northern Ireland were being violated by restrictions on access to abortion, and argued that devolution of power over criminal law to the Northern Ireland Assembly did not remove the responsibility of the UK Government for this matter.
This British overseas territory has some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe - welcome to Gibraltar
20 August 2018
Last week, Argentina's senate blocked a bill to legalise abortion up to 14 weeks. In a year marked by progress for women's rights campaigners - including the Ireland referendum victory to repeal its outdated abortion laws - it has come as a huge setback.
Not even stories of 500,000 illegal abortions, leading to 100 unnecessary deaths every year - including one in the days since the bill was blocked - could break through the staunchly Catholic country's status quo.
UK politicians call for Northern Ireland abortion reforms
Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where abortion is illegal unless pregnancy poses a serious health risk.
22 Jul 2018
More than 170 politicians from the UK and Ireland have signed a letter calling on the UK government to decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland.
The cross-party letter, published in UK newspaper The Sunday Times, said the "current situation for women [in Northern Ireland] cannot be ignored or allowed to continue".
Removing shackles of abortion restrictions in Ireland
July 18, 2018
The landslide victory of the Yes campaign in the May 2018 referendum paves the way for an end to decades of harms caused by the abortion ban (the 8th amendment) of the Irish Constitution.
Inserted in 1983, this provision prevented legal abortion in all cases except risk to a pregnant woman’s life. It has forced thousands of women and girls to leave Ireland to access care, to undergo illegal abortions or to continue pregnancy against their will.