Human rights campaigners lose Northern Ireland abortion appeal

Human rights campaigners lose Northern Ireland abortion appeal

Human rights campaigners lose Northern Ireland abortion appeal

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission had argued that the law should be changed to allow abortions in cases where pregnancies were the result of rape or incest, or in cases where the fetus had a fatal abnormality.

The court said it could not rule on the commissions' challenge to Northern Ireland's strict abortion laws, but that it would have declared them incompatible with human rights laws otherwise.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the current law is incompatible with Article 8 of European Convention of Human Rights - that is the right to respect for private and family life - in those three circumstances.

As it now stands, abortion is only legal in Northern Ireland if the life of the woman is endangered.

The NIHRC claims the law's effect on women is incompatible with rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

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Supreme Court Justice Mance held that the "present legislative position in Northern Ireland is untenable" and "clearly needs radical reconsideration".

The debate on Northern Ireland's restrictions on abortion has intensified after citizens in the Irish Republic voted by a landslide last month to liberalise the state's laws.

Despite this, numerous judges said the existing law was incompatible with human rights law in situations of fatal foetal abnormality and sexual crime.

The British leader relies on allies in Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, a socially-conservative group whose opposition to abortion is largely responsible for the region's tough laws. [It] makes clear there is nowhere left for the government to hide on this issue.

"All eyes are now on the UK Government", Teggart added. The debate will center on overturning Northern Ireland's abortion law and removing legal protections for unborn children throughout the United Kingdom by repealing the 1861 Offences against the Person Act.

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Theresa May was today urged to defy her DUP backers and to decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland.

But the court's opinion, while laid out at length, is not binding because the case has been dismissed on technical grounds.

"Let me reassure those MPs who want to uphold the role of devolved assemblies", said Creasy, "that repealing OAPA would not write a particular abortion law for anyone, but it would require them to act". "A failure to act would be a cruel betrayal of women".

Speaking to assembled media on Thursday morning, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, meanwhile, stated that the issues relating to Northern Ireland's abortion law should be decided "by the people who live in Northern Ireland".

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