UK Supreme Court asked to rule on abortion funding for Northern Ireland residents

Tue Nov 1, 2016 | 8:06pm EDT, Reuters

Women's rights groups are to ask the British Supreme Court on Wednesday to compel the government to fund abortions for Northern Ireland residents traveling to England to avoid some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe.

While the National Health Service routinely provides free abortions to women in most of the United Kingdom, abortion is only permitted in the British province of Northern Ireland when a woman’s life is at risk or if there is a risk of permanent and serious damage to her mental or physical health.

Last year just 16 abortions were carried out in Northern Ireland but women's rights groups estimate that around 1,000 women travel to Britain each year for terminations, which they must finance themselves along with travel and other costs.

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Source: Reuters