Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Irish abortion ban 'violated woman's rights'

Irish abortion ban 'violated woman's rights'

European Court of Human RightsThe court's ruling could lead to a change in Irish abortion laws

Related stories

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Irish abortion laws violated the rights of one of three women who sought terminations in Britain.

The woman, who was in remission for a rare form of cancer, feared it might return as a result of her pregnancy.

While abortion in the Republic is technically allowed if a woman's life is at risk, the court said that was not made possible for the woman involved.

But it ruled two other women in the case had not had their rights breached.

The court said the Irish government had failed to properly implement the constitutional right to abortion if a woman's life was in danger.

Correspondents say the ruling is likely to force the Dublin government to introduce new legislation or bring in new guidelines.

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen said politicians now needed to consider the implications of the ruling.

"It's an issue for the whole political spectrum to consider," he said.

Respect for private life

The first two women in the case were a single mother who had other children in care and a woman who did not want to become a single parent.

All three women said they had suffered medical complications on returning to the Irish Republic and said they believed they had not been entitled to an abortion under Irish law.

They all complained that Irish restrictions on abortion had stigmatised and humiliated them, risking damage to their health.

However the third woman had argued that even though she believed her pregnancy had put her life at risk, there was no law or procedure for her to have her right to an abortion established.

The court said that the government in Dublin had breached the third woman's right to respect for her private life by its "failure to implement the existing constitutional right to a lawful abortion in Ireland".

It ruled that "neither the medical consultation nor litigation options, relied on by the Irish government, constituted effective and accessible procedures which allowed the third applicant to establish her right to a lawful abortion in Ireland".

The court said that the only non-judicial way of determining the risk to a woman's life - on which the government relied - was an ordinary medical consultation between the woman and her doctor. It described this as "ineffective".

It said that women and their doctors both ran a risk of criminal conviction and imprisonment "if an initial doctor's opinion that abortion was an option as it posed a risk to the woman's health was later found to be against the Irish constitution".

The court said Irish constitutional courts were not appropriate for determining whether a woman qualified for a lawful abortion.

Under Irish law, abortion is a criminal act although a referendum in 1983 amended the constitution acknowledging the mother's right to life was equal to that of the child.

Following several legal cases, the Irish Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that abortion was lawful if the mother's life was at risk.

However, the Irish parliament has never enacted legislation regulating the constitutionally guaranteed right.

The three women were all supported by the Irish Family Planning Association. They have not been identified, although two are Irish nationals and one is a Lithuanian who is resident in the Irish Republic.

The UK-based abortion charity BPAS - which submitted written observations to the court - welcomed the ruling.

"The lack of clarity as to when abortion may be lawful in Ireland puts women and doctors in an impossible situation, and the sooner this can be remedied the better," said BPAS chief executive Ann Furedi.

Ireland is now under pressure to do what successive Irish governments have avoided doing for almost 20 years - alter its abortion laws.

In theory, it would not be a major change. It would simply reflect the judgement of the Irish Supreme Court in 1992 which ruled that a woman whose life was in danger should be allowed an abortion.

In practice, defining what constitutes a threat to life for the mother will be a legal minefield.

Changing the law would also be a political minefield. Ireland is bitterly divided over abortion, and the Irish government has plenty of other priorities at present with the financial crisis and a general election early next year.

The European Court ruling means Ireland must now reconsider its abortion legislation. The current government will be in no rush to do so.


  1. The website is looking bit flashy and it catches the visitors eyes. Design is pretty simple and a good user friendly interface.
    run 3

  2. Methods of calculating the cost and prices of pesticide spraying in Riyadh
    The cost and prices of pesticide spraying in Riyadh are calculated according to the type of pesticide used, the method of implementation, the spraying machines used and the quantity of pesticides used for insect control.افضل شركة نقل اثاث

  3. Hi, its nice post concerning media print, we all understand media is a enormous source of information.

    Feel free to surf to my web blog ... 강남오피

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Good to have this best content of blog. Now get done your Assignment Help service done by professional Ph.D experts who know the content of writing which makes your assignment better also you will get A++ guarantee based content which is proofread by experts.

  7. The sender apologizes for the cut-off of their query and requests more details about a specific case or news article involving an Irish abortion ban and its violation of women's rights. They acknowledge that they lack the necessary information to provide a comprehensive review, and would appreciate more information about the specific case, arguments presented in the article, and any relevant legal or ethical considerations. The sender requests more context or key points from the article to better understand the situation and provide a more detailed response. They also request that the sender provide more context or key points from the article to better equip them to offer review comments or engage in a discussion on the topic. The sender is willing to provide additional information or clarify their request to help them better understand the situation and provide a more comprehensive response.
    Abogados de Lesiones por Accidentes de Camiones

  8. A truck accident lawyer specializes in representing individuals involved in collisions with large commercial vehicles. These legal professionals possess in-depth knowledge of the complexities surrounding truck accidents, including federal regulations, liability issues, and substantial damages. truck accident lawyers

  9. The review of "Bad News About Christianity" provides a critical analysis of the subject matter, highlighting potential drawbacks and controversial aspects. The language used is clear and aligns with readers seeking a critical examination of Christianity. The review offers thought-provoking insights into the book's content, allowing readers to consider various viewpoints. However, more specific examples or a balanced view could enhance the review.Driving Without Proof Of License New Jersey

  10. The Irish early termination boycott's nullification denotes a huge triumph for ladies' privileges and independence. online GED test help can engage people to make scholastic progress and open new open doors. We should keep supporting for admittance to training and conceptive privileges around the world.