Abortion ruling ‘morally wrong’ says Derry campaigner

The ruling was made in the High Court in Belfast on Monday.
The ruling was made in the High Court in Belfast on Monday.

A member of a pro-life campaign group said yesterday’s High Court judgement that abortion laws in N. Ireland are in breach of human rights is “morally wrong”.

Mr. Justice Horner ruled that the illegality of abortion in cases where the unborn child has been diagnosed with a fatal foetal abnormality and where the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, is in violation of Article 8(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights .

Derry Precious Life spokesperson, Michelle Quigley, said she was “saddened” by the ruling.

“We are deeply saddened that Mr. Justice Horner did not recognise the right to life which is shared by all unborn children in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,” she said.

“The Right to Life is granted neither by judges nor politicians, but it is their duty to protect it. We cannot and will not accept a ruling that is so morally wrong in denying the fundamental rights of the most vulnerable human beings in society,” she added.

Member of pro-choice campaign group, Alliance for Choice, Goretti Horgan, welcomed Mr. Justice Horner’s historic judgement but said it would only benefit a “small number” of women.

“You have to welcome the judgement in that it will reduce the number of women forced to travel to England for an abortion,” maintained Ms. Horgan.

“Be that as it may, there are currently 2000 women who travel from the North to England every year to have an abortion - this ruling will only benefit around of 25 women.”

Ms. Horgan added: “Fatal foetal abnormality is an absolute tragedy and to disregard the reality of this is unfeeling.

“If a woman who has been the victim of a sex crime or is pregnant with a child with fatal foetal abnormality they might not be able to afford to go to England to pay for an abortion. The judge addressed this issue in his ruling. It becomes a case of equality.”