Lawyers claim current legislation is ‘clearly in breach of the human rights of all women who seek abortion care’

A landmark case at Brtiain’s highest court is set to rule on whether Northern Ireland’s strict abortion law is incompatible with with the European Convention of Human Rights.


At present, it and offence for a woman to terminate her pregnancy if the child is conceived through rape or incest or it has a foetal abnormality.

Lawyers and campaigners have claimed is “clearly in breach” of the human rights of all women who seek abortion care.

The Supreme Court appeal has been brought by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC).

Unlike other parts of the UK, Britain’s 1967 Abortion Act does not extend to Northern Ireland, where it remains illegal except in cases where a woman’s life is at risk or there is a permanent or serious danger to her mental or physical health.

Anyone who unlawfully carries out an abortion not under these circumstances could be jailed for life.

The NIHRC is arguing that cases of rape, incest, or serious foetal anomaly are in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Healthcare charities and women’s rights organisations, including the Family Planning Association (FPA), the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) and Birthrights are intervening in the case to argue that the current legal framework in Northern Ireland amounts to inhumane and degrading treatment of women in need of abortion care

Source: The Independent

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