UK's highest court to rule on legality of Northern Ireland's abortion law

UK's highest court to rule on legality of Northern Ireland's abortion law

May's government could face more pressure to act if the U.K. Supreme Court rules this week that Northern Ireland's abortion restrictions violate human rights statutes.

But it says the majority of Justices think the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission did not have powers to bring the abortion case to court.

The Northern Ireland Assembly voted in February 2016 against legalising abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and rape or incest.

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

"Despite the majority of the judges" ruling that Northern Ireland's abortion law is in clear breach of human rights, a formal declaration of incompatibility - the declaration issued by a United Kingdom court that a statute is incompatible with the European Convention of Human Rights - could not be made.

The 1967 Abortion Act has never applied in Northern Ireland.

Abortion is unlawful in all but the most extreme cases.

Explained: What is the UK's Trooping the Colour parade?
The monarch is technically the head of Britain's armed forces and would traditionally lead an army into war. Everyone from the Royal Family was standing up on the balcony as the Trooping the Colour event took place.

A termination is now only permitted if there is a serious risk to a woman's life or her health.

Submissions were also made at the Supreme Court by a number of bodies, including seven of the UK's leading reproductive rights organisations, Humanists UK, Bishops of the Roman Catholic Dioceses in Northern Ireland, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children and Amnesty International.

There have been calls for the UK Parliament to legislate for abortion reform in Northern Ireland in the absence of a functioning devolved government.

Rebecca Schiller, Chief Executive of Birthrights, the UK's only organisation human rights during pregnancy and childbirth said: "These last weeks have made it clear that we can no longer ignore the continued suffering and violation of Northern Irish women's human rights".

Those responsible for ensuring the compatibility of Northern Ireland law with the Convention rights will no doubt recognise and take account of these conclusions, at as early a time as possible, by considering whether and how to amend the law, in the light of the ongoing suffering being caused by it'.

"Had it gone the wrong way, Northern Ireland would have faced abortion on demand", the Democratic Unionist Party's Jim Wells told Reuters.

Britain's Northern Ireland minister has said she would like the law to be changed, but that the matter should be decided by local politicians. "These are sentient human beings who have every right to life, who have every right to be protected". During an emergency debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Stella Creasy put forward a motion which advocated repealing two sections of the Offences Against the Person Act.

Related Articles

  • Trent Alexander-Arnold confirmed for England start against Costa Rica

    Trent Alexander-Arnold confirmed for England start against Costa Rica

    Marcus Rashford admitted he tried to "play free" and enjoy his football in England's 2-0 friendly win over Costa Rica . Alexander-Arnold played in the Champions League final for Liverpool , which they lost to Real Madrid 3-1.
    Apple will let you know when Facebook is snooping on you

    Apple will let you know when Facebook is snooping on you

    Apple veered from tradition slightly and stuck only to software updates, said Gene Munster, managing partner at Loup Ventures. Meanwhile, Apple has seized the opportunity to cast itself as the best behaved player in tech.
    What Happened to Roseanne Barr: When Twitter Trumped Reality

    What Happened to Roseanne Barr: When Twitter Trumped Reality

    Oh, and if you were wondering whether those lovable pranksters at Dictionary.com got involved... of course they did. She also blamed Ambien for her outburst, saying she posted the tweet at 2 a.m. while on the insomnia-treating drug.
  • IOS 12 allows older iPhones to stay current for another year

    IOS 12 allows older iPhones to stay current for another year

    When Apple releases the new iOS 12 update, you'll be able to use the group FaceTime feature with up 32 simultaneous participants. And while the iOS 12 beta might be tempting, many iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users are better off staying put on iOS 11 .
    Del Potro defeats Cilic to reach semifinals

    Del Potro defeats Cilic to reach semifinals

    I'm not really interested by all these things, and I don't think that - you can't really know the reality of how old is your body. Del Potro fought back tears during his post-match interview and was loudly cheered by fans at Court Suzanne Lenglen.
    Man United agrees to deal for Fred

    Man United agrees to deal for Fred

    According to Jose, England will play Robert Lewandowski and Poland in the Last 16. "Players are always thinking of their careers". The Brazilian skipper gave Fred a hug before they took to the field. "If I was a club manager, I would be looking to sign him".
  • North Korea summit to be held at Sentosa island's Capella hotel - CMW

    North Korea summit to be held at Sentosa island's Capella hotel - CMW

    He noted that Russian Federation , as a nation that shares a border with North Korea, is frightened by the prospect of a conflict. The on-again-off-again summit is expected to focus on U.S. efforts to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.
    Top economic aide Larry Kudlow: 'Don't blame Trump' for trade tensions

    Top economic aide Larry Kudlow: 'Don't blame Trump' for trade tensions

    The French leader said on Tuesday he would travel to Russian Federation if the national team advanced beyond the quarter-finals. G7 finance ministers met last week and rebuked Washington over the tariffs, setting up a fight at the G7 summit.
    Real Madrid Unconcerned As Ronaldo Eyes Summer Exit

    Real Madrid Unconcerned As Ronaldo Eyes Summer Exit

    Marcelo has also suggested that Neymar will one day inherit a crown now owned by Ronaldo. It's a privilege to represent our nation and let's see what awaits us".
  • India lauded for plan to beat plastic pollution

    India lauded for plan to beat plastic pollution

    Just nine percent of the nine billion tonnes of plastic the world has ever produced has been recycled. For years, environmentalists have warned of the deadly effect plastic trash has on marine wildlife.
    Trump remains a looming figure in latest wave of primaries

    Trump remains a looming figure in latest wave of primaries

    The Republican who thought - we thought might squeak through isn't even - it doesn't look like at this point anywhere near them. In the third, Issa's district, Republican Diane Harkey was leading in early returns, as two Democrats vied for the second slot.
    Make the Environment Free of Plastics, Not Free For Plastics!

    Make the Environment Free of Plastics, Not Free For Plastics!

    The celebration of World Environment Day started in 1974 with the goal of raising awareness, supporting action and driving change. Mr Modi mentioned that the per-capita plastic consumption in India is much lower than any part of the developed world.