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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Abortion referendum aftermath: Is Northern Ireland next?

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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

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

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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

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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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Government under pressure over ‘incompatible’ Northern Ireland abortion law

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Government under pressure over ‘incompatible’ Northern Ireland abortion law
Pro-choice campaigners demand action after Supreme Court judges say ban on terminations needs ‘radical reconsideration’.

June 7 2018

The Government is facing mounting pressure to reform abortion laws in Northern Ireland after Supreme Court judges said they were incompatible with human rights legislation.

Pro-choice campaigners demanded action after a majority of Supreme Court judges said the ban on terminations in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality needed “radical reconsideration”.

Continued: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/republic-of-ireland/government-under-pressure-over-incompatible-northern-ireland-abortion-law-36986743.html

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Belfast woman to challenge NI abortion laws in High Court

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Belfast woman to challenge NI abortion laws in High Court
Decision follows ruling by British supreme court on legality of situation in North

June 7, 2018
Amanda Ferguson

A Belfast woman who travelled to Britain for an abortion is to take a case to the High Court in her home city after campaigners lost a UK supreme court appeal over the legality of Northern Ireland’s abortion laws.

Supported by Amnesty International, Sarah Ewart, who travelled for an abortion after being told her baby would not survive, said she was seeking a formal declaration that the North’s laws on abortion were incompatible with human rights law.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/belfast-woman-to-challenge-ni-abortion-laws-in-high-court-1.3522595

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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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Abortion: UK ‘breaches NI’s women’s rights’

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Abortion: UK 'breaches NI's women's rights'

By Catherine Smyth Health producer, BBC News NI
23 February 2018

The UK breaches the rights of women in Northern Ireland by unduly restricting their access to abortion, a UN Committee has found.

"Denial of abortion and criminalisation of abortion amounts to discrimination against women because it is a denial of a service that only women need," said the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

Continued: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-43167255

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The hypocrisy surrounding Northern Ireland’s abortion ban shames us all

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The hypocrisy surrounding Northern Ireland’s abortion ban shames us all

Barbara Davidson
Friday October 27th 2017

This week the 1967 Abortion Act marked its fiftieth anniversary. While women in England, Scotland and Wales reflect on fifty years of reproductive rights, women in Northern Ireland have no reason for celebration.

Instead, women from Northern Ireland were in the Supreme Court this week, as judges heard a case on whether our abortion laws amount to a breach of human rights law.

Continued at source: https://inews.co.uk/opinion/comment/hypocrisy-surrounding-northern-irelands-abortion-ban-shames-us/

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Supreme Court examines NI abortion law appeal

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Supreme Court examines NI abortion law appeal

25 October 2017

A barrister has claimed that Northern Ireland's abortion legislation has "saved 100,000 lives". He was speaking for the Christian Action and Research in Education (CARE), on the second day of an appeal relating to the laws.

Supreme Court judges are being asked to consider whether the existing rules breach a woman's human rights.

A lawyer for Amnesty International challenged the figure put forward by CARE's legal representative.

Continued at source: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-41743629

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