court finds Northern Ireland abortion laws violate human rights

Posted on: Mon, 11/30/2015 - 15:34 By: Tom Swiss

Northern Irish abortion laws breach human rights - court (Yahoo News)

Northern Ireland's restrictive abortion laws are in breach of human rights by failing to provide exceptions in the case of fatal foetal abnormality and sexual crime, Belfast's High Court found in a landmark ruling on Monday.

Unlike other parts of the United Kingdom, abortion is banned in Northern Ireland unless the life or mental health of the mother is in danger...

Just as in the Republic of Ireland, where the law is as strict and debate as fierce, the restrictions have led to thousands of women a year travelling to Britain for abortions.

...Judge Mark Horner upheld a challenge by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission that the laws breached the European Convention on Human Rights and asked the parties involved to consider whether the ruling could be applied under current legislation.

If not, it would be referred to Northern Ireland's devolved assembly which to date has refused to extend legislation and whom the judge criticised, saying the issue was "unlikely to be grasped by the legislature in the foreseeable future".