UK Supreme Court declines ruling Northern Ireland’s abortion law

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

But the justices agreed with the commission that the abortion ban violates human rights - specifically in cases of rape, incest and fatal fetal abnormalities.

In a 4-3 vote, justices said they have no jurisdiction to consider the latest attempt to overturn Northern Ireland's restrictive abortion law because there's no victim of an unlawful act.

Women in Northern-Ireland who are faced with unwanted pregnancies have the option to travel to England, Wales or Scotland to have an abortion.

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But they said the law was incompatible with the right to respect for private and family life as guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights. Theresa May can no longer sit back and do nothing whilst countless women continue to suffer on her watch. Now the highest court in the land has recognised that Northern Ireland is in breach of human rights for people who find themselves with fatal foetal abnormality. The Prime Minister must commit to reforming abortion law immediately or be complicit in the harm and inequality caused by the existing law.

A Northern Irish woman gave evidence to the Supreme Court about having to travel overseas for a termination after being told her baby could not survive. Ms Ewart said: "This feels like a huge relief". Experiencing something as painful as I did and then going through the ordeal of the courts has been emotionally draining.

An application has been registered with the European Court of Human Rights.

The case's dismissal means the government is not obliged to change the law, but the seven judges have given a strong nod that reform is needed. If there's any testament that we need to get rid of this inhumane abortion ban, it's that. "I'm especially grateful to the women of Ireland who came forward to provide their personal testimony about the hard times that they endured, the stress and the trauma that they experienced because of the eighth amendment". We will not accept being forced on planes to access healthcare.

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The Northern Ireland Assembly is now suspended.

'In 2017, 3,092 women from the Republic of Ireland had an abortion in England and Wales, less than half the number than in 2001 and a further 5% decline from 2016, ' the report read.

Anti-abortion demonstrators held a rally outside the Supreme Court in London on June 7.

On May 28, abortion activists gathered at the main court buildings in Belfast to protest the country's pro-life laws, and several women publicly took abortion pills.

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Northern Ireland has much stricter abortion laws than other parts of the UK. From a human rights perspective, the only discussion is about life-limiting conditions and sexual crime. Amnesty believes that the forthcoming Domestic Violence Bill is the vehicle to achieve this change.

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