Northern Ireland abortion law found to breach human rights

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By VIEW editor Brian Pelan

Northern Ireland’s abortion law breaches the UK’s human rights commitments, the High Court ruled in Belfast today.

The case was taken in Belfast by Sarah Ewart, who challenged the law after she was denied a termination.

The judge said she ruled in Mrs Ewart’s favour as it was not right to ask another woman to relive the trauma that she had already experienced.

Mrs Ewart said the ruling was “a turning point for women” in their campaign against “outdated laws”.

In 2013, Mrs Ewart was told she could not have a legal abortion, despite doctors saying her fetus would not survive outside the womb.

She travelled to England for a termination and later spoke out about the additional trauma and expense that journey had caused her family.

NI Green Party leader Clare Bailey

Northern Ireland Green Party leader Clare Bailey said: “Multiple Courts and Committees have set out that our abortion law breaches international human rights standards.  The High Court has affirmed this once again.
“I would like to pay tribute to Sarah Ewart for her bravery in taking this action. I hope that no other woman has to force the government to live up to their human rights obligation in the same way ever again. 
“I look forward to the process of abortion decriminalisation beginning on 21st October and the implementation of necessary healthcare provision for women at the soonest point possible.
“It has been a long and traumatic road for women here in Northern Ireland.  
“Finally though, we have a chance to create a better future and redress this long standing denial of rights.”

Why Ireland’s battle over abortion is far from over 

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