Northern Ireland: Abortion Activists Say Pro-Life Laws are “Incompatible” With Human Rights

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jun 20, 2016   |   1:54PM   |   Belfast, Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland attorney general is headed to court this week to battle a radical High Court decision declaring its pro-life laws “incompatible” with human rights.

The BBC reports Attorney General John Larkin and the Department of Justice filed an appeal against the High Court ruling in December. The appeal is being heard this week in Belfast.

In the December ruling, High Court Justice Mark Horner ruled that Northern Ireland’s abortion laws breached Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights because they do not allow abortions in cases of rape, incest or fetal anomalies. In a ruling that upset many people, Horner called the pro-life laws “incompatible” with human rights.

His ruling did not overturn the laws; however, the Department of Justice is arguing that the decision could lead to legalized abortion, the BBC reports.

Bernadette Smyth, director of Precious Life, attended the first day of the appeal hearing on Monday in Belfast to support the attorney general’s arguments. She told

“Last November, the people of Northern Ireland were disgusted and outraged that a highly esteemed judge like Mr Justice Horner could deny the very humanity of a sick little baby alive in his or her mother’s womb,” Smyth said in a statement. “Rather than listening to and objectively considering the facts before him, Judge Horner allowed himself to be swayed by the cold, cruel and ridiculous arguments put forward by the Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International.”

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Smyth said Horner’s decision was degrading to both unborn babies and women who have been victims of rape. She said his December ruling has added fuel to abortion activists’ attempts to legalize the killing of disabled babies in the womb.

“The term ‘fatal fetal abnormality’ is not a medical diagnosis and cannot be defined,” Smyth continued. “It is medically meaningless and grossly offensive and hurtful to mothers and their unborn babies.”

Abortion activists will not stop there; they want to legalize abortions for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy. If not overturned, Smyth said the ruling could “open the flood gates” to abortion on demand in pro-life Ireland.

Here’s more from the BBC about the hearing:

Opening the appeal and in one of 10 opening submissions, the Attorney General said Judge Horner was clearly wrong in his decision when he said there was no life to protect and he added this was demonstrated by the grief shown by Sarah Ewart who was clearly mourning the loss of a baby.

The Attorney General also argued that there was no proper basis for a doctor to say a foetus has a fatal foetal abnormality.

In an unusual move, the Human Rights Commission is due to cross appeal the Justice department and Attorney General’s challenge to the High Court ruling.

The pro-abortion group said it wants Northern Ireland to change its laws and allow abortions in the cases of rape, incest and fatal fetal abnormality.

Northern Ireland protects unborn babies’ right to life from the moment of conception. Abortions only are permitted when the mother’s life is in danger.