LONDON-IRISH ABORTION RIGHTS CAMPAIGN TO TAKE THE UK GOVERNMENT TO COURT OVER ABORTION RIGHTS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

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LONDON-IRISH ABORTION RIGHTS CAMPAIGN TO TAKE THE UK GOVERNMENT TO COURT OVER ABORTION RIGHTS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

8 July 2019: For immediate release

 

The London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign announced at a star studded fundraiser on Friday night, that it will bring a landmark legal case against the UK government for its failure to change the law on abortion in Northern Ireland.

 

On Friday night, during Stand Up For Reproductive Rights, a fundraiser hosted by the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign and Tiffany Stevenson, featuring Rob Delaney, Katherine Ryan, Sara Pascoe, Nish Kumar, Eleanor Tiernan, Sindhu Bee, Alison Spittle, Athena Mum, and Tara Flynn, campaingers made the announcement to an audience of 550 people at the Bloomsbury Theatre. 

 

Campaigners revealed that they would need to raise £10,000 in order to bring the claim and launched a crowdfund to raise the funds. In 36 hours, the crowdfund raised £10,000. After 48 hours, 599 people had donated a total of £15,912. The crowdfund launched with a video of A-list comedians supporting the campaign telling the Government ‘see you in court’. The video is available here: https://twitter.com/LdnIrishARC/status/1147541353959739394

 

Cara Sanquest, Louise Boyd, Polly Barklem and Barbara Davidson of London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign said:

"We've marched, we've tweeted, we've asked nicely, and we're sick of waiting for change while women* and girls in Northern Ireland continue to have their human rights ignored by this Government. Stormont has not sat for two and a half years, this Government cannot hide behind devolution any longer. On 18th November, the mother of a 15 year old girl will stand trial in Belfast for getting her daughter abortion pills. She could face up to five years in prison. These are the same pills that have been available on the NHS in England and Wales for 50 years. Enough is enough."

 

Janet Farrell of Bhatt Murphy, solicitor for London-Irish Abortion Rights Camaign:

“This case is about the failure of the UK Government to take action to protect the rights of women and girls in Northern Ireland. This is despite the UK Government having the power to act, and despite Northern Ireland having no devolved government in place for two and a half years. It is also despite both the UK Supreme Court and the UN Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) finding that the situation is in breach of fundamental rights. The people of Northern Ireland have waited long enough. This case is being taken to compel the UK Government to act now, and meet its obligations under domestic and international law.”

 

In June 2018, a judgment of the Supreme Court held that the abortion ban in Northern Ireland on women accessing abortion for pregnancies after rape or sexual violence or where there is a fatal foetal abnormality, is a breach of human rights. The UN has called the laws ‘tantamount to torture’ and stated that devolution is no excuse for inaction. Over a year later, the Government has done nothing about it. 

 

The London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign is seeking to judicially review the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for her failure to act within its powers to address the current denial of rights to women and girls in Northern Ireland. Our aim is to ask the government to change the law in line with the Supreme Court judgment to ensure that women who have pregnancies resulting from rape or sexual violence, or women with fatal foetal abnormalities in their pregnancies, can access free, safe and legal abortion in Northern Ireland.

 

*Women including trans and non-binary people, and anybody who might become pregnant

 

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Notes 

For press enquiries email londonirisharc@gmail.com

Link to  crowdfund: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/nowforni/

Hannah Little