Right to challenge North’s abortion ban is granted

Staff Reporter

The NI Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) has won High Court permission to challenge the law in the North to allow abortion in cases of rape, incest or “serious malformation” of a foetus.

A judge in Belfast granted leave on Monday to seek a judicial review of the organisation’s claims that the North’s current legislation, where abortion is only legal if a woman’s life is at risk, is a violation of human rights.

The case comes as the North’s Justice Minister David Ford is proposing to change the law in the North to permit abortion in cases of where the unborn child will only live for a short time after birth.

Mr Justice Treacy ruled that the commission had established an arguable case, which will be examined at a full hearing in June.

The pro-life groups Precious Life and the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, and sexual health charity Family Planning Association have all registered an interest in the case.