Protest and proportionality in the Supreme Court: The Safe Access Zones Bill Reference [2022] UKSC 32 – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted December 15th, 2022 in abortion, bills, devolution issues, harassment, news, Northern Ireland, Supreme Court by tracey

‘Abortion in Northern Ireland has had a fraught and frequently distressing history. Until 2019 when the UK Parliament reformed the law, the jurisdiction had the most restrictive approach to abortion in the UK. But even this reform has not reformed the reality, either for those seeking abortion services or information and counselling on such services or for those who work at providers of such services lawfully. I have previously written about the situation as it stood in March 2021, and the reality has changed little since then, with two notable exceptions. In March 2022, the Northern Ireland Assembly passed the Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) Bill (Northern Ireland) (“SAZ Bill”) to create buffer zones around lawful abortion providers, in an attempt to criminalise the harassment and intimidation of people who seek or work in such places. On 2 December 2022, tired of the glacial pace and political controversy in commissioning abortion services, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland moved to commission such services himself. In the interim, the Attorney General for Northern Ireland (“AGNI”) referred the SAZ Bill to the UK Supreme Court to determine whether it was lawful.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 14th December 2022

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.com

Woman with Down’s syndrome loses abortion law appeal – BBC News

‘A woman with Down’s syndrome has lost her appeal over a law that allows abortion up until birth for a foetus with the condition.’

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BBC News, 25th November 2022

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

‘Huge victory for reproductive rights’: MPs approve ‘buffer zones’ outside abortion clinics – The Independent

Posted October 19th, 2022 in abortion, bills, demonstrations, hospitals, news, women by sally

‘MPs have voted in favour of nationwide “buffer zones” outside abortion clinics in England and Wales in a major win for abortion providers.’

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The Independent, 18th October 2022

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Fears for vulnerable women amid rise in Britons investigated over illegal abortions by police – The Independent

Posted August 19th, 2022 in abortion, criminal justice, news, pregnancy, statistics, women by tracey

‘Increasing numbers of Britons are being investigated by police over suspected illegal abortions, new figures show.’

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The Independent, 18th August 2022

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Brenda Hale: ‘There’s absolutely no need to scrap the Human Rights Act’ – The Guardian

‘renda Hale is a British judge who served as president of the supreme court of the United Kingdom from 2017 until her retirement in 2020. Lady Hale studied law at Cambridge, was called to the bar and then worked as an academic for many years. In 1984, she became the youngest person to be appointed to the Law Commission. In 1999, she was only the second woman to be appointed to the court of appeal. It fell to Hale, in September 2019, to deliver the judgment of the supreme court in the matter of the Queen’s prorogation of parliament on the advice of Boris Johnson. The court ruled that the prorogation was unlawful and the spider brooch Hale wore on that fateful day became one of the most famous fashion accessories in history. Her memoir, Spider Woman: A Life, is now out in paperback.’

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The Guardian, 24th July 2022

Source: www.theguardian.com

Kirsty Hughes: The Bill of Rights and the Precarity of Abortion Rights – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted July 12th, 2022 in abortion, bills, human rights, news, Northern Ireland by tracey

‘In the aftermath of the US Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization attention has turned to whether abortion is adequately protected in the UK from the winds of political change. Given that in England, Scotland, and Wales abortion is provided for by ordinary Act of Parliament, and in Northern Ireland by Regulation, an orthodox view of the constitution indicates that it is not. In response to Dobbs it has been suggested that the pending Bill of Rights should be amended to provide for a right to abortion. That proposal was swiftly rejected by Dominic Raab on the basis that abortion is settled in UK law – a view that is somewhat contradicted by ongoing difficulties in respect of abortion in Northern Ireland.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 11th July 2022

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Woman kept in police cell for 36 hours after stillbirth due to suspicions she had ‘illegal abortion’ – The Independent

‘A woman was kept in police custody for 36 hours after having a stillbirth because of suspicions she had an abortion after the legal cut-off point, it has been claimed.’

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The Independent, 5th July 2022

Source: www.independent.co.uk

What happens when a devolved bill is referred to the UK Supreme Court? – House of Commons Library

Posted July 5th, 2022 in abortion, bills, devolution issues, news, Northern Ireland, Supreme Court by tracey

‘The Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) Bill (Northern Ireland) has been referred to the UK Supreme Court. We explain why, and how a bill reference works.’

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House of Commons Library , 4th July 2022

Source: commonslibrary.parliament.uk

Karolina Szopa and Jamie Fletcher: The Future of Abortion Rights under the European Convention on Human Rights in Light of Dobbs – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted July 4th, 2022 in abortion, constitutional law, human rights, news, pregnancy, women by tracey

‘On Friday 24th June 2022, in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) overruled the right to an abortion nearly 50 years since it first declared it a constitutionally protected right. An outpour of protests and condemnation followed the release of the opinion, with many legal professionals, politicians and NGOs across Europe speaking out against the devastating consequences this decision will have on women’s and other pregnant people’s rights in the US. Pregnancy holds implications for women’s physical and social identity, with repercussions on the woman’s economic status, her chance for education, career and ability to pursue the life she chooses, not least to mention her physical health. In the opinion of this blog’s authors, a pivotal decision such as access to an abortion should be shielded from state interference.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 30th June 2022

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Women accused of illegal abortions in England and Wales after miscarriages and stillbirths – The Guardian

Posted July 4th, 2022 in abortion, criminal justice, news, pregnancy by tracey

‘Women in England and Wales who have suffered miscarriages or stillbirths are being investigated by police on suspicion of having illegal abortions, with some forced to hand over their phones and laptops for invasive “digital strip searches”.’

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The Guardian, 2nd July 2022

Source: www.theguardian.com

Dominic Raab says right to abortion does not need to be in bill of rights – The Guardian

Posted June 30th, 2022 in abortion, bills, human rights, news by sally

‘Dominic Raab has expressed doubts about including the right to an abortion in the forthcoming bill of rights, saying the matter was already “settled in UK law”.’

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The Guardian, 29th June 2022

Source: www.theguardian.com

New calls for buffer zones around UK abortion clinics – BBC News

Posted May 31st, 2022 in abortion, demonstrations, news, public order by sally

‘Medical leaders in the UK have launched a fresh call for buffer zones to be set up around abortion clinics to prevent activists targeting patients and staff.’

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BBC News, 30th May 2022

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

UK government preparing to override Northern Ireland on abortion services – The Guardian

Posted March 25th, 2022 in abortion, delay, government departments, immigration, news by tracey

‘The UK government is taking legal steps to override the Northern Ireland executive and directly instruct the nation’s health trusts to provide abortion services, saying it will “take the necessary powers” to directly commission services if urgent progress is not made.’

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The Guardian, 24th March 2022

Source: www.theguardian.com

Woman detained under mental health law can make abortion decision – judge – The Independent

‘A pregnant woman detained under the terms of mental health legislation is capable of deciding whether to have an abortion even though doctors say such a move would not be in her best interests, a judge has ruled.’

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The Independent, 14th March 2022

Source: www.independent.co.uk

The Abortion Act 1967 and Down Syndrome: Crowter – Law & Religion UK

Posted December 6th, 2021 in abortion, disabled persons, human rights, news, pregnancy, time limits by sally

‘In R (Crowter & Ors) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care [2021] EWHC 2536 (Admin), the issue before the Court was the fact that the Abortion Act 1967 differentiates between pregnancies where there is a substantial risk that, if born, a child would be “seriously handicapped” (the terminology used in the Act) and those where it would not. The three claimants – a 25-year-old woman with Down Syndrome who had gained an NVQ qualification level, was employed and had recently married, A, a two-year-old with Down Syndrome who had met all his developmental milestones, and A’s mother [6-8] – challenged the disability ground for abortion in section 1(1)(d) of the Act as contrary to Articles 2 (right to life), 3 (inhuman or degrading treatment) and 8 (private and family life) ECHR.’

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Law & Religion UK, 3rd December 2021

Source: lawandreligionuk.com

Ex-soldier’s wife found guilty of murdering baby abandoned in woods – The Independent

‘The wife of a former soldier has been found guilty of the murder of her newborn baby by abandoning him in woodland after she discovered she was pregnant too late to have an abortion.’

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The Independent, 30th November 2021

Source: www.independent.co.uk

High Court: Differential standards on abortion time-limits do not breach the human rights of disabled persons – UK Human Rights Blog

‘In Crowter & Ors, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for Health And Social Care [2021] EWHC 2536 (Admin), the High Court considered the lawfulness of the provision in the Abortion Act 1967 which permits termination of a foetus after 24 weeks where there is a substantial risk that, if born, a child would be “seriously handicapped”.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 25th October 2021

Source: ukhumanrightsblog.com

UK Abortion Legislation Does Not Protect The Right To Choose – Each Other

Posted October 11th, 2021 in abortion, human rights, news, women by sally

‘While many may believe such challenges to reproductive rights could not be replicated here in the UK, our domestic legislation on abortion remains patchy, paternalistic and lacking in power. At best, UK law has successfully made abortion a safe, affordable procedure. At worst, it violates people’s rights under the Human Rights Act to be free from discrimination, enshrined in Article 14, and inhuman or degrading treatment, protected under Article 3.’

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Each Other, 8th October 2021

Source: eachother.org.uk

Judges Rule Abortion Law On Disability Does Not Violate Human Rights – Each Other

Posted September 29th, 2021 in abortion, birth, disability discrimination, disabled persons, equality, human rights, news by sally

‘The High Court has ruled against a legal challenge from a woman with Down’s syndrome which argued that permitting abortion up until birth for a foetus with certain disabilities is unlawfully discriminatory.’

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Each Other, 28th September 2021

Source: eachother.org.uk

Woman with Down’s loses abortion law fight – BBC News

‘A woman with Down’s syndrome has lost her High Court challenge over a law that allows abortion up to birth for a foetus with the condition.’

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BBC News, 23rd September 2021

Source: www.bbc.co.uk