O’Neill welcomes judgement in Sarah Ewart case

Commenting on today’s judgement in the High Court in Belfast in the case brought forward by Sarah Ewart Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill said:  

“I firstly want to commend Sarah Ewart and her mummy Jane Christie for their bravery and determination in bringing this case. They should never have had to. Sarah has taken a very tragic time in her life and used her experience to try to ensure no woman has to go through the same experience as she did.

“I welcome today’s judgement on the case brought forward by Sarah to the High Court, which confirms that current legislation on abortion is incompatible with human rights requirements. 

“There is now an urgent need for reform of the legislation to provide the option of abortion where a woman’s life, health or mental health is at risk and in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and without specific indication for a limited gestational period so that cases of sexual crime can be dealt with in a compassionate manner.

“Sinn Féin believes that this and all outstanding rights issues in the north of Ireland should properly be dealt with, not at Westminster, but by locally accountable politicians in the Assembly.

“Sinn Féin’s focus remains to get the political institutions up and running on the basis of equality, rights and respect so that we can address all of these important issues. The DUP’s anti-equality agenda, the confidence and supply deal with the Tories and Brexit remain the obstacle to this.

“Sinn Fein is opposed to the extension of Britain’s 1967 Act to the north but British legislation which criminalises women who have an abortion should be repealed immediately.

“In the absence of functioning political institutions the ongoing denial of rights by the DUP is untenable and unacceptable. 

“Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement it is the responsibility of the two governments, under the auspices of the British/Irish Intergovernmental Conference, to deliver equality and those rights that are routinely available everywhere else on these islands.”