UK Supreme Court criticizes Northern Ireland abortion laws

UK Supreme Court criticizes Northern Ireland abortion laws

Judges ruled against an appeal brought by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC), saying that it had no standing to bring its legal challenge to the current law.

He said the divisions among Supreme Court justices on the Northern Ireland laws revealed a "complete lack of consensus" on the matter. "Westminster must act now to decriminalise abortion across the United Kingdom and grant basic bodily autonomy to the women of Northern Ireland". Nevertheless, she argued repeal would still allow Northern Irish legislators to fix limitations on abortion. Others dressed as characters from "The Handmaid's Tale", the dystopian novel and television show in which women are subjugated in a totalitarian state.

Her debate will not change the law but will give MPs a chance to air their views.

Because of Northern Ireland legislation, newly-wed Sarah travelled to London for a termination at her own expense, with flights and hotels included, of more than £2,100. May needs the party's 10 lawmakers in parliament to keep her government in office.

Decriminalizing abortion in Northern Ireland may come down to a vote Wednesday in London's House of Commons at Westminster.

A devolved administration in Belfast was restored as part of a 1998 peace deal that ended decades of bloody violence.

The maximum penalty for breaking the law in Northern Ireland is life in prison.

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It had asked the court to rule on whether it was unlawful to prohibit abortions that arise from sexual crimes or cases involving "a serious fetal abnormality".

However, a different four of the seven ruled that the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, which had initiated legal proceedings to try to liberalize the law, did not have the right to bring the case.

May has said that the abortion issue should be decided by Northern Ireland's devolved government.

Current restrictions force women to either travel to the Great Britain to receive treatment (which over 1,000 women and girls do each year), risk prosecution for procuring illegal online abortion pills, or continue their pregnancies against their wishes and in violation of their rights.

Despite the decision to uphold the law, pro-choice activists said they welcomed the judges' ruling.

The party's chief whip, Jeffrey Donaldson, told parliament he was "proud of the fact that there are so many people alive in Northern Ireland today because we have a law that respects the rights of both women and of the unborn child". Sarah Ewart said she meant to take a case to Belfast's High Court to seek the declaration of incompatibility the commission was unable to obtain.

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