The Northern Ireland's abortion law could be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights, after a landmark case is brought to Belfast high court.
Sarah Ewart has taken legal action after embarking on a long, fraught journey in 2013 when a 19-week scan showed that the baby she was carrying had a fatal defect, revealing that the brain and skull had not developed properly.
Doctors refused to perform an abortion, citing Northern Ireland's near-blanket ban on terminations. One consultant banged files on her desk and said: "I'm not going to prison for anyone." Ewart, then aged 23, borrowed money from a bank to travel to England for an abortion.
On her return she lobbied Northern Ireland's politicians to lift the ban, citing European human rights legislation. When that fell on deaf ears Ewart took her story to the media, fuelling a push for reform and a backlash from anti-abortion activists who targeted her and her family.
Ewart's five-year odyssey through the policies and passions of Northern Ireland's abortion ban will reach what may be its final leg this week.
"Time and time again I've told my story to MPs, courtrooms and judges. Each time I relive the trauma," she said in a statement before the hearing.
"I hope this will be the last time I have to go to court and prove that women like me should be able to access abortion services at home, without being forced to travel. I hope this case can bring a ruling that helps end the suffering for us all."
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