There is a clear ministerial and Parliamentary majority for supporting these changes for Northern Ireland we simply need the opportunity for MPs to act

Emma Campbell is Co-Chair of Alliance for Choice As one of the Co-Chairs of Alliance for Choice I am encouraged by the possibility of movement on both abortion rights and equal marriage in Westminster today. Yet another Executive Functions Bill is simply a delaying tactic by the UK Government who don’t want to rock their own Brexit boat and who are completely cowed by the DUP. No devolution, no direct rule, no governance ad nauseum. But that doesn’t mean we …

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Make no mistake about it, this was an important judgement for human rights in Northern Ireland

On the 7th June 2018 the Supreme Court finally delivered its judgement on Northern Ireland’s abortion laws. Activists and lawyers have been waiting for the ruling with baited breath. The decision comes a few weeks after the referendum in the Republic of Ireland to repeal the Eighth Amendment. It’s fair to say the judgement wasn’t quite what people expected. The case was, as Lady Hale said, ‘an unusually difficult case to resolve.’ In a sprawling 144 page judgement four of …

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“Gay cake” case may prompt top level legal rethink

The life story of Andrew Muir, the mayor of North Down is part of Northern Ireland’s long journey towards civilisation – including the fact that as an openly gay person he made it to mayor at all. It was his Bangor reception that sparked the Great Cake Discrimination Case. Even so, the case may not be open and shut as it seems. The law is reckoned to be unsatisfactory. There is a legal debate which hinges on whether discrimination is …

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The pro-choice lobby’s exploitation of the Savita tragedy could backfire badly

The old saying “hard cases make bad law” should be heeded as much by progressive campaigners as by fusty lawmakers. Because it is equally true that tragic cases make bad reforms. The pro-choice activists currently holding up photos of Savita Halappanavar, while calling on the Irish authorities to legislate for some forms of abortion in order to “protect women’s lives”, could unwittingly help to give rise to an Irish abortion law that negates women’s autonomy rather than accentuating it. It …

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