Northern Irish women crowdfund for abortion appeal
A mother and daughter are trying to raise £20,000 to challenge a ruling that prohibits Northern Irish women from having NHS-funded abortions in England.
The litigants, a 20-year-old woman and her mother known as “A and B”, want to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights and have turned to crowdfunding to raise the money. Earlier this month, Supreme Court justices rejected an appeal by the women on a majority of three to two.
But the women’s lawyers say their clients were encouraged by the Supreme Court judges’ supportive comments and an outpouring of public support. “The fact that women from Northern Ireland who fall ill while visiting England will receive all the necessary care and treatment without charge, but cannot receive abortion services on the NHS is very wrong,” said Angela Jackman, a partner at the law firm Simpson Millar, which represents A and B. “The trauma experienced by women from Northern Ireland seeking abortion services in England is one which resonates with many charities, professionals and individuals who have shown their support to see this case heard before the highest court in Europe.”
In a statement A and B said: “Legal Aid isn’t available to cover the costs of applying to the European Court of Human Rights. We need support from the public and from the many charities who campaign for the rights of women, to make this case a reality.”