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Northern Ireland: Abortion activists slam appeal court ruling

ABORTION rights campaigners hit out at a “deeply disappointing” appeal court ruling yesterday that it is for the Northern Ireland Assembly to decide whether women should be allowed to have pregnancies terminated.

In the latest turn in the longrunning battle over access to abortion in the six counties, Lord Justice John Gillen called it a “highly controversial issue touching on social, moral and religious policies.”

He claimed: “There is no consensus either in Europe or, for that matter, in this jurisdiction. Such an issue requires Parliament to be allowed a wide margin of judgement.”

However, the judge allowed a further appeal to the Supreme Court in London. The Northern Ireland Assembly is dominated by the DUP and Sinn Fein — both strongly opposed to abortion.

Alliance 4 Choice told the Star it was “a day of highs and lows for women in Northern Ireland seeking free safe legal access to abortion,” adding: “We will continue to campaign for free safe and legal access to abortion in Northern Ireland.”

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