Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Northern Ireland's strict abortion law that forced a woman to travel to England for the procedure violates Britain's human rights commitments, the country's High Court in Belfast ruled Thursday.
Sarah Ewart was told in 2013 her unborn child would not survive outside the womb. She sought an abortion, but Northern Ireland banned abortions. Ewart, 28, said she was "devastated and terrified" about traveling to England for the first time to have the procedure.
Justice Siobhan Keegan said Ewart was a victim of Northern Ireland's abortion law.
"She has had to modify her behavior in that she could not have medical treatment in Northern Ireland due to the risk of criminal prosecution," Keegan said. "She may be actively affected in the future. In my view, her personal testimony is not disputed."
Ewart also had the support of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, which said Thursday that Ewart's cases did not need to go to court.
"We would like to commend Sarah's braveness in taking forward this legal challenge," the commission's chief Les Allamby said in the statement. "Sarah should not have had to take this case in the first place. In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled clearly that N.I. laws ran contrary to human rights standards. Parliament should have changed the law then without delay."
Ewart said the decision was a "massive victory " but the case has taken a toll on her family.
"It is a massive emotional relief," Ewart said. "This has not been an easy journey. It is a massive victory. It has been a massive stress emotionally on the family but six years later, let's enjoy today."