Dr Ruth Fletcher blogs on Northern Irish Abortion Law
Dr Ruth Fletcher, Senior Lecturer in Medical Law at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), Professor Marie Fox and Dr Sheelagh McGuinness criticise the recent decision of the Northern Irish Court of Appeal (NICA) in their Londonirisharc website blog. On 29 June, the same day that the British government decided to offer free NHS England abortion care to Northern Irish women, the NICA decided that the question of abortion’s unlawfulness and rights incompatibility in circumstances of rape/incest, or fatal fetal anomaly, was a matter for the Northern Irish Assembly, and not the courts. Given that the Court also took the view that abortion probably was lawful in these circumstances, the authors argue that the judges should have decided differently. The case is being appealed by the Northern Irish Human Rights Commission to the UK Supreme Court.