Although the supreme court said it had no jurisdiction to consider the latest legal challenge because there was no actual or potential victim of an unlawful act involved in the case, pro-choice campaigners welcomed the call by a majority of its judges for "radical reconsideration" of Northern Ireland's current abortion regime, and said the case for action was incontrovertible.
The appeal judges said the law in Northern Ireland should be left to the Stormont Assembly and not judges, saying the complex moral and religious questions behind the issue should be determined by a legislature rather than a court.
Rebecca Schiller, Chief Executive of Birthrights, the UK's only organisation human rights during pregnancy and childbirth said: "These last weeks have made it clear that we can no longer ignore the continued suffering and violation of Northern Irish women's human rights".
"Watching MPs saying how sad they feel about situation in Northern Ireland but shrugging their duties to act to protect human rights set out in Good Friday agreement makes you wonder if they have even read it and responsibilities it gives United Kingdom parliament".
"It's my strong, personal, view that it is completely unsustainable for us to have a different law from the south on abortion". It can not wait for the Northern Ireland Assembly to reconvene and potentially act - it must now act itself. The prime minister must commit to reforming abortion law immediately or be complicit in the harm and inequality caused by the existing law. While the case was dismissed, women's groups may have lost the battle but they are winning the war.
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Therefore, the court can not deliver a ruling on the issue.
"Abortion in cases where there is a fatal fetal abnormality or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest is available throughout the vast majority of countries in Europe", Supreme Court Justice Brian Kerr said in his written judgment in support of the court's conclusions.
"This is a landmark decision that I hope will lead to changes that will improve the lives of women in Northern Ireland and the care they receive".
However, a lawmaker from the the main Unionist party, which opposes liberalizing abortion law and also props up the minority British government in London, said he was "delighted with the decision". "What we need is compassion and services in Northern Ireland". Amnesty is calling for the repeal of sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, which would decriminalise abortion and enable a Human Right compliant healthcare framework to be put in place.
Because of Northern Ireland legislation, newly-wed Sarah travelled to London for a termination at her own expense, with flights and hotels included, of more than £2,100. Amnesty believes that the forthcoming Domestic Violence Bill is the vehicle to achieve this change.