Christian charity warns against using court case to justify widespread abortion in Northern Ireland

The Christian campaign charity CARE says a High Court ruling on abortion shouldn’t justify sweeping changes to abortion law in Northern Ireland.

On Thursday, judges ruled that the country’s laws breached the UK’s human rights commitments.

They ruled on the case of Sarah Ewart (Photo above) who took action after she was refused a termination in 2013.

She had to travel to London to end her pregnancy after doctors said her unborn child would die in the womb or shortly after birth.

Following the judgment she said: “Today’s ruling is a turning point for women in their campaign against the outdated laws prohibiting abortion in Northern Ireland.

“It should never have come to this.

“Today’s ruling is a vindication of all those women who have fought tirelessly to ensure that we never again have to go through what I did in 2013.”

Responding to the verdict, CARE chief executive, Nola Leach said: “We recognise the tragic circumstances involved in this case.

“While we respect the judgment of the High Court today it is important to note that today’s ruling relates to a very, very small number of complex cases.

“This judgment in no way justifies the sweeping changes that will be imposed on the people of Northern Ireland if the Assembly is not restored by 21 October.

“Changing the law to accommodate abortions in the cases of life-limiting conditions deemed fatal is one thing and we are ready for a discussion on these very difficult situations.

“But thanks to Westminster’s decision to by-pass devolution, Northern Ireland will have one of the most extreme abortion laws in Europe with nearly all the existing protections for women and babies changed or removed.

“This raises the alarming prospect that from 22 October, abortion will be available up until the point at which the baby is capable of being born alive.”

The law in Northern Ireland is set to change after Westminster MPs voted to legalise abortion there.

The only way it will be stopped is if the Northern Ireland Assembly is restored – it’s been suspended for two and a half years.

Earlier this week, church leaders in Northern Ireland called for action from political leaders to stop the law change.