Northern Ireland’s abortion legislation violates human rights.


Abortion law in Northern Ireland is based on 19th century jurisprudence.

A challenge to the abortion laws, based on the EU Convention on Human Rights, resulted in a ground-breaking (from a Northern Ireland perspective) ruling by Mr Justice Horner on Monday 30th November 2015. He held that “the article eight rights of women in Northern Ireland who are pregnant with foetal abnormalities or who are pregnant as a result of sexual crime are breached by the impugned provisions”.

The challenge was by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.


Limited as the effect of the judgment is, being confined only to pregnancies where there is foetal abnormality or which is the result of sexual crime, the Attorney General has indicated he is “profoundly disappointed” and is considering an appeal. Precious Life, an anti-abortion group, has labelled the decision “undemocratic”.