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Jardine: “Women in Northern Ireland deserve better than this”

June 7, 2018 6:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrat Scottish affairs spokesperson Christine Jardine has welcomed the Supreme Court's declaration today that the UK government is breaching the human rights of women in Northern Ireland by upholding a ban on abortion there.

But judges were unable to rule to force Ministers to change the law as the case was brought by a human rights watchdog, rather than a woman who has been a victim of rape or is carrying a foetus with a fatal abnormality.

Christine Jardine said:

"I welcome the Court's declaration today, which shows a clear need for urgent action. But it is deeply saddening that the Government isn't being forced to act because of a legal technicality.

"UK law is breaching the basic human rights of our own citizens. We are breaching a woman's right to make decisions over her own body, even in instances of rape and incest.

"This is the UK and this is 2018.

"The ruling challenges this utter disregard for women's rights in Northern Ireland, but if ministers don't take charge and bring forward legislation now, victims of rape and incest will be forced to bring their cases to court and share very personal and private stories before judges can force a change in the law.

"Women in Northern Ireland deserve better than this. The Government must act now."