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Marie Stopes International comment on High Court ruling that Northern Ireland abortion law "incompatible with human rights"

Monday 30 November 2015 Marie Stopes International Press release UK

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The Belfast High Court has ruled that Northern Ireland's current abortion legislation is "incompatible with human rights".

Currently, termination of pregnancy is only allowed if a woman's life is at risk or there is a permanent or serious risk to her mental or physical health. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) brought the case to extend abortion to cases of serious foetal malformation, rape or incest.

Genevieve Edwards, Director of Policy at Marie Stopes UK, said: “We believe that all women in the UK should have equal access to legal abortion services, regardless of which country within the UK they live in. Abortion in Northern Ireland is currently so restricted that most women have no option but to travel overseas, and the costs and stress of that can be significant. Last year, hundreds of women travelled from Northern Ireland to our centres in England for a termination, all of whom would far rather access services closer to home.”

For further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact Marie Stopes International on +44 (0) 7769 166516, or email

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