The Supreme Court in Belfast, has decided that abortion reshaping in Northern Ireland and in contrast with the rest of Britain violates the UK’s human rights commitments.
Northern Ireland does not have the same law on abortion as England, Scotland and Wales, where the Abortion Act is in force. Abortion in Great Britain was legalized in 1967.
In Northern Ireland, abortion is only permitted if there is a risk for the woman’s life or for her physical or mental health, while it is not permitted in the event of rape, incest or serious malformations of the fetus.
There is no possibility for women to go to other parts of the country to have a legal abortion.
The case was brought to court by 29-year-old activist Sarah Ewart, who was denied the right to have an abortion in 2013, despite doctors ruling that the fetus would never survive outside the womb once it was born. Ewart then went to have an abortion in a clinic in London.
The decision was taken in the light of the “Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019”, a law passed last July by the UK Parliament to extend a range of civil rights to Northern Ireland, including marriage between people of the same sex and abortion law in force in the rest of the country
The Abortion Law went automatically into effect in Northern Ireland on March 31, 2020.