In the High Court in Belfast today, Mr Justice Mark Horner, held that the abortion legislation in Northern Ireland breached Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights by not allowing abortion in certain circumstances. The challenge to Northern Ireland’s abortion law was taken by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.
Responding to Belfast’s High Court ruling, Dr Ruth Cullen of the Pro Life Campaign said:
“The only way Mr Justice Horner could have reached the decision he did is by absolutely side-stepping the fact that an innocent unborn child is also present whenever abortion is considered. It is simply not the case, as the judge says, that for an unborn baby with a limiting condition, ‘there is no life to protect.’ His comments fly in the face of all the evidence and are deeply hurtful to families of babies diagnosed with life shortening conditions. The judge in this case has set the value of the unborn child at zero and ignored the well documented negative after effects of abortion for many women.
“Today’s outcome is a reminder that abortion allows some human lives to be judged less worthy of legal protection. It is the role of the judicial system to uphold and protect basic human rights like the right to life. Today’s decision means that in the eyes of the court certain categories of human beings are not deserving of legal protection. That’s a very frightening development.
“The decision is also inconsistent with the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the fact that there is no right to abortion in international human rights law.
“Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights protects against ‘inhumane and degrading treatment’, but abortion itself is inhumane and degrading to the unborn child whose life is ended. This is the reality which the judge did not acknowledge but which must now be discussed”, Dr Cullen concluded.
The Pro Life Campaign has welcomed the news that Northern Ireland’s Attorney General John Larkin is likely to challenge the decision.
You can read a summary of today’s decision here