Northern Ireland may be forced to legalize the killing of unborn babies after a high court ruled that its pro-life laws violate human rights.
It is the last country on the British Isles that protects the rights of born and unborn human beings. However, abortion activists have been working on multiple fronts to force the pro-life nation to stop protecting babies in the womb.
On Thursday, the Belfast High Court ruled in favor of an abortion activist’s lawsuit, Reuters reports. It ruled that the rights of Sarah Ewart, of Belfast, were violated because she could not abort her unborn baby in her home country. Ewart traveled to England for an abortion in 2013 after her unborn baby was diagnosed with a potentially fatal disability.
“I am massively relieved… Too many women in Northern Ireland have been put through unnecessary pain by our abortion law,” Ewart said in a statement.
Justice Siobhan Keegan, who ruled on the case, described Ewart’s abortion as “medical treatment” and her testimony as “compelling,” according to The Irish Post.
“She may be actively affected in the future. In my view her personal testimony is not disputed,” Keegan said. “I cannot see that this would serve any benefit or it would be right to ask another woman to relive the trauma.”
She said her ruling follows the precedent set by the United Kingdom supreme court, which also ruled against human rights for the unborn. According to both courts, Northern Ireland’s pro-life laws are incompatible with article 8 of the European convention on human rights.
Life Northern Ireland spokesperson Aisling Dundee said they are shocked and disappointed by the ruling. She said killing an unborn child is not the answer to suffering.
“Women who find themselves in the heart-breaking position of having a child diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, such a Ms Ewart did, need robust perinatal support in order to deal with the physical and emotional agony of losing a child,” she said. “In our experience, the intrusion and tragedy of an abortion only adds to the trauma of their ordeal and is neither a humane or compassionate solution.”
Dundee said this life-affirming support can empower women and help families heal. She said their organization provides support to families facing difficult pregnancies, offering perinatal services, counseling and other support.
The Thursday ruling is a major loss, and the rights of unborn babies are being threatened on a separate front as well in Northern Ireland.
As Reuters reports:
Northern Ireland’s regional government has not functioned since a power-sharing agreement between mainly Protestant and Catholic political parties collapsed in 2017. The British parliament voted in July in favor of a plan that would decriminalize abortion in the region if its local government has not been re-established by Oct. 21.
In the unlikely event that the change of the abortion law is not imposed by London, Thursday’s ruling means the Belfast court could take steps that would force lawmakers to act.
Earlier this week, a pro-abortion British MP who is leading the push to force Northern Ireland to legalize abortions praised the vandalism of a pro-life billboard and criticized the police for refusing to silence pro-life advocates who criticized her position.
Northern Ireland is one of the last bastions of safety for unborn babies in Europe after abortion activists pushed Ireland to repeal its pro-life constitutional amendment in 2018.