‘Brave’ Belfast woman forced to go to England for abortion launches bid to change law on human rights grounds

'Brave' Belfast woman forced to go to England for abortion launches bid to change law on human rights grounds
'Each time I re-live the trauma. I hope this will be the last time I have to go to court and prove that women like me should be able to access abortion services at home,' says Sarah Ewart

Maya Oppenheim, Women's Correspondent
Jan 29, 2019

A landmark case in Belfast High Court could find Northern Ireland’s abortion law in breach of the UK’s human rights commitments, say experts.

Sarah Ewart, who was forced to travel to England for an abortion after being told her unborn child would not survive outside the womb, has launched a new case which starts on Wednesday.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/northern-ireland-abortion-sarah-ewart-high-court-case-human-rights-commission-a8752241.html

Read more

Abortion law change: Is Northern Ireland really next?

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
Susan McKay

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.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/abortion-law-change-is-northern-ireland-really-next-1.3753579

Read more

N. Ireland – Girl ‘taken from classroom to be questioned by police over abortion pills’

Girl ‘taken from classroom to be questioned by police over abortion pills’
The teenager’s mother is taking a judicial review against the decision to charge her for procuring the medication online.

November 6 2018

A Northern Ireland schoolgirl whose mother is facing prosecution for buying her abortion pills was taken from a classroom by police officers and spoken to about the alleged crime without her parents being present, a court has heard.

A barrister for the mother outlined the circumstances of the case as she urged judges to rule that her looming prosecution is in contravention of human rights laws.

Continued: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/girl-taken-from-classroom-to-be-questioned-by-police-over-abortion-pills-37497844.html

Read more

Court: Medics fear life imprisonment over restrictive NI abortion laws

Court: Medics fear life imprisonment over restrictive NI abortion laws

Friday, October 05, 2018

Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws have left medics fearing life imprisonment, a court heard.

They have had a chilling effect on doctors, a lawyer for a woman forced to travel to England for a termination for a fatal foetal abnormality said.

Continued: https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/court-medics-fear-life-imprisonment-over-restrictive-ni-abortion-laws-873902.html

Read more

Ireland – Case of woman accused of obtaining abortion pills for daughter adjourned

Case of woman accused of obtaining abortion pills for daughter adjourned
North’s Lord Chief Justice says better understanding of recent Supreme Court ruling needed

Thu, Sep 20, 2018

A legal challenge involving a woman accused of obtaining abortion pills for her teenage daughter in Northern Ireland has been adjourned.

Before the case began, the woman said she was in “fear and pain” over the looming prosecution.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/case-of-woman-accused-of-obtaining-abortion-pills-for-daughter-adjourned-1.3635597

Read more

Belfast court to hear landmark challenge over abortion rights

Belfast court to hear landmark challenge over abortion rights
Northern Ireland woman takes on decision to prosecute her for supplying pills to daughter

Rory Carroll Ireland correspondent
Thu 20 Sep 2018

A woman is challenging a decision to prosecute her for obtaining abortion pills for her pregnant underage daughter in a potential landmark case for abortion rights in Northern Ireland.

She will seek to overturn a decision by the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland to subject her to a criminal trial and the prospect of five years in prison for supplying the pills in 2013 to her then 15-year-old daughter, who terminated the pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/20/northern-ireland-woman-challenges-prosecution-buying-abortion-pills

Read more

New inquiry: Abortion law in Northern Ireland

New inquiry: Abortion law in Northern Ireland
The Women and Equalities Committee launches inquiry looking into abortion law in Northern Ireland.

20 September 2018

Background

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.

Continued: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/women-and-equalities-committee/news-parliament-2017/abortion-law-northern-ireland-launch-17-19/?mc_cid=b515a2798a&mc_eid=daef22644f

Read more

The urgent need for abortion law reform in Northern Ireland

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

Read more

Abortion referendum aftermath: Is Northern Ireland next?

Abortion referendum aftermath: Is Northern Ireland next?
Its laws breach human rights, and its people back change, but politicians remain resistant

Sat, Jun 9, 2018
Fionola Meredith

The decisive vote for repeal in the Republic’s referendum on the Eighth Amendment to its Constitution sent a seismic jolt through Northern Ireland, where abortion remains illegal in almost all cases. It has intensified public conversation about the issue, inspiring pro-choice activists to renew their demands for a change in the law.

Last week, in a protest outside Belfast’s High Court, women from the socialist feminist organisation Rosa NI swallowed abortion pills while being filmed by police. The verdict in the South has also caused uncertainty and dismay in anti-abortion campaigners, who fear that, in the words of the slogan, the North is next.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/abortion-referendum-aftermath-is-northern-ireland-next-1.3522667

Read more

The Guardian view on Northern Ireland and abortion: the mounting demand for change

The Guardian view on Northern Ireland and abortion: the mounting demand for change
Editorial
A judgment from the UK’s supreme court adds to the already overwhelming case for reforming oppressive laws

Thu 7 Jun 2018

The moral case for the reform of Northern Ireland’s harsh abortion laws, which forbid terminations even in the case of rape or fatal foetal abnormalities, has long been clear. But the sweeping victory for reform in the Irish abortion referendum last month made it starker than ever. The logical case is obvious: the restrictions do not prevent but displace abortions, with women travelling across the Irish Sea to end their pregnancies. The political case is equally evident: poll after poll has shown that voters in Northern Ireland believe the law must change. Now the supreme court has laid out the legal case.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/07/the-guardian-view-on-northern-ireland-and-abortion-the-mounting-demand-for-change

Read more