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The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School

Dr Claire Lougarre submits evidence to UK Parliament

Published: 3 December 2018

On Friday 30 November, Dr Claire Lougarre submitted written evidence to UK Parliament (the Women and Equalities Committee) on the responsibilities of the UK Government under its international human rights obligations for taking action to reform abortion law in Northern Ireland.

In this submission, Dr Lougarre first outlines the obligations of the UK under international human rights law with regard to women’s access to abortion, as set in the United Nations and in the Council of Europe. She then highlights how the UK should act with regard to its abortion law in Northern Ireland, in order to reconcile its current legislation, including its devolution settlement, with its international obligations.

This submission concludes that the UK is bound to various human rights treaties, all of which are progressively interpreted as obliging states to provide access to abortion services – especially when a pregnancy jeopardises the woman’s life and health, when it results from rape, and in instances of serious foetal abnormality. As a result, Dr Claire Lougarre explains that the UK should reform Northern Ireland abortion law in order to fulfil its international obligations.

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