The urgent need for abortion law reform in Northern Ireland

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The urgent need for abortion law reform in Northern Ireland

David Pannick, QC
June 20, 2018

The recent Supreme Court judgment on abortion rights in Northern Ireland provides a compelling argument for law reform. There, it is a criminal offence for a pregnant woman to have an abortion, and for clinicians to assist her to do so, unless there is a risk to her life or a risk of serious long-term or permanent injury to her physical or medical health. Otherwise an abortion is unlawful, even if the pregnancy results from rape or incest, and even if there is a foetal abnormality that means that the foetus will die in the womb or very shortly after delivery. In such cases the law compels the woman to carry the foetus to term.

The Supreme Court of seven judges heard a claim brought by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission challenging these provisions under the Human Rights Act (HRA).

Continued: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-urgent-need-for-abortion-law-reform-in-northern-ireland-3wbtpx8fj

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U.K. Court Dismisses Challenge to Northern Ireland Abortion Law

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U.K. Court Dismisses Challenge to Northern Ireland Abortion Law

By Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura and Richard Pérez-Peña
June 7, 2018

LONDON — Britain’s Supreme Court on Thursday struck down an attempt to overturn Northern Ireland’s restrictive laws on abortion over a legal technicality, barely two weeks after Ireland voted in a landslide to do away with similar rules.

But in an important caveat, Justice Brenda M. Hale, president of the court, said that a majority of the justices “are of the firm and clear opinion that the current law is incompatible with” the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Britain is a party.

Continued; https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/07/world/europe/uk-northern-ireland-abortion.html

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Northern Ireland abortion law clashes with human rights, judges say

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Northern Ireland abortion law clashes with human rights, judges say
Supreme court dismisses bid to overturn law but adds to pressure on politicians to act

Owen Bowcott Legal affairs correspondent
Thu 7 Jun 2018

Pressure is growing on the government to reform Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws after the supreme court concluded that they are incompatible with human rights legislation.

Justices at the UK’s highest court dismissed a legal challenge by a narrow majority of four to three and said they had no jurisdiction to consider the latest case because there was no actual or potential victim of an unlawful act involved in it.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/07/supreme-court-dismisses-bid-to-overturn-northern-ireland-abortion-laws

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UK: Supreme Court judge disagreed with abortion ruling

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Supreme Court judge disagreed with abortion ruling

By Vincent Kearney, BBC News NI Home Affairs Correspondent
27 November 2017

The president of the UK's highest court has said she disagreed with its decision to reject an appeal for women from Northern Ireland to receive free abortions on the NHS in England.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal from a mother and daughter by a narrow majority.

One of those who dissented was Lady Hale, the president of the court.

Continued at source: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-42135034

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