UK Supreme Court asked to rule on NIreland abortion access

AP News
Posted: Nov 02, 2016 11:21 AM

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Supreme Court is being asked to rule on whether women in Northern Ireland — where abortion is strictly restricted — should be able to have the procedure for free elsewhere in the U.K.

The court is hearing a case brought by a teenager who traveled to England and paid hundreds of pounds (dollars) for an abortion in 2012.

Abortions are free under Britain's National Health Service — except in Northern Ireland, where it is only legal if a woman's life is in danger.

Stephen Cragg, a lawyer for the teenager and her mother, says women in Northern Ireland "are second-class citizens" when it comes to reproductive rights.

Lower courts have ruled against the 19-year-old plaintiff, saying the government is entitled to impose residence requirements on abortion services.