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Clare Bailey welcomes ruling that Northern Ireland’s abortion laws breach human rights

Thursday 07 June 2018

Clare Bailey has welcomed the ruling of the Supreme Court that Northern Ireland’s abortion laws breach human rights. Human rights are not a devolved matter and I urgently call on Westminster to enact legislation to redress this.

The South Belfast MLA said:

“A clear majority found that abortion law in Northern Ireland is incompatible with Article 8 – the right to a private and family life in cases of rape, incest, and fatal foetal abnormality.

“I am disappointed that the court did not find in favour of the NIHRC in terms of taking the proceedings, although 3 of the 7 judges dissented.

“I would like to pay tribute to the women who intervened in this case and gave their personal testimonies on the appalling impact of abortion law in Northern Ireland. Testimonies of being forced to travel, making their difficult situations even more harrowing with lack of healthcare treatment at home.

“The Referendum in the Republic along and the debate in Westminster on Tuesday adds real impetus to the current campaign to change the law. The repeal of section 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act to decriminalise abortion must remain a priority for the Westminster Government as outlined by the United Nations CEDAW report on abortion law in Northern Ireland.

“Public opinion is clear on this issue with around 70% of the population supporting abortion law reform. We want to see the denial of women’s human rights overturned so that desperately needed reproductive healthcare can be accessed at home”.

Clare Bailey concluded:

“The pressure is mounting and the tide is turning. Northern Ireland will not be left behind”.

ENDS

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Sinead McIvor
07701 302 498

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