Life is deeply disappointed at the Belfast High Court ruling today which declared that Northern Ireland’s abortion law is incompatible with Article 8 of the ECHR.
Mrs Justice Keegan upheld Ms Ewart’s case and ruled that the law in NI is in breach of human rights as it does not allow for abortion in cases where a baby is found to have a life limiting condition.
The law as it stands in Northern Ireland only permits abortion in cases where the mother’s mental or physical wellbeing is at risk.
Life Northern Ireland’s spokesperson, Aisling Dundee, said:
“Women who find themselves in the heart-breaking position of having a child diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, such a Ms Ewart did, need robust perinatal support in order to deal with the physical and emotional agony of losing a child. In our experience, the intrusion and tragedy of an abortion only adds to the trauma of their ordeal and is neither a humane or compassionate solution.
We are shocked and disappointed that Mrs Justice Keegan did not comment on the need for alternative care services or governmental funding for such services, which can only serve to empower women and help them to a place of healing.
For almost 40 years, Life NI have worked to support women through difficult pregnancies and have recently launched a perinatal service designed to offer families whose baby is diagnosed with a life limiting condition appropriate counselling and guidance throughout the pregnancy and beyond.”