Abortion law case closed by Supreme Court
Thu, 09 Aug 2012 12:20p.m.
The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by pro-life group Right to Life, ending a years-long case over the country's abortion law.
Right to Life sought a court ruling on the role of the Abortion Supervisory Committee - the statutory body charged with administering the country's abortion law and providers - arguing that the committee should have to review certifying consultants' decisions.
A woman seeking an abortion must see two certifying consultants, who decide whether she meets legal requirements for an abortion.
Right to Life argued that many abortions are being performed outside of the scope of what parliament intended in the law.
In a decision released on Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld an earlier Court of Appeal ruling that the committee did not have the power to review individual cases, and it was not up to the committee to form its own opinion about the lawfulness of certifying consultants' decisions.
The Court of Appeal last year overruled an earlier judgment from High Court judge Justice Forrest Miller that the committee did have the power to review and scrutinise certifying consultants' decisions.
However, the Supreme Court added that the committee can seek information from consultants about "how they have generally approached their caseload".
It did not appear the committee had made such inquiries, and may not have "fully appreciated the breadth of its functions and powers".
Dismissing Right to Life's appeal, the Supreme Court said it was now up to the Abortion Supervisory Committee and parliament to consider whether the law was operating as it should.
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9/08/2012 2:04:52 p.m.
Craig Young wrote:
Well done, Supreme Court!
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