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Date set for legal challenge to Northern Irish abortion law

8 January 2015


"It is pure nonsense to claim that the law in Northern Ireland is in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights"

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) has launched a legal bid to allow abortion in cases of rape, incest or 'serious' foetal abnormalities in Northern Ireland. The high court in Belfast listed the first stage of the hearing for the 2nd of February.

Lawyers representing the NIHRC are to argue that the current law is a violation of human rights. [7 January, Belfast Telegraph]

SPUC's Northern Ireland Development Officer Liam Gibson made the following statement on the upcoming case: 

"It is pure nonsense to claim that the law in Northern Ireland is in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. When the government of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was helping to draft the Convention, the abortion law across the whole of the UK was that which applies in Northern Ireland today. It is simply ridiculous to argue that the UK was in violation of the Convention it was actually helping to draft.

The European Convention itself protects the right to life of "everyone." But while the Court in Strasbourg has recognised that children in the womb belong to the human race, it has completely failed to defend them from the culture of abortion which dominates Europe.

The Human Rights Commission cannot use the Convention to overturn Northern Ireland’s protection of unborn children directly. The aim of this case is to sidestep opposition to liberal abortion within the Northern Ireland Assembly by having the current law declared incompatible with the Convention and ultimately force Westminster to impose the Abortion Act on the Province."

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