European Court decision due on Irish abortion law
December 13, 2010
The European Court of Human Rights is expected to issue a ruling this week in a pivotal case involving Irish law against abortion.
Three women have brought a challenge to the Irish law, charging that they endured indignity and health risks when they were forced to travel outside Ireland to obtain abortions. In a decision that is expected on December 16, the Strasbourg court will rule on the women’s claim that the Irish law violated their human rights.
The Irish government defended the country’s existing law, saying that it reflects “profound moral values deeply embedded in Irish society.” A finding against that law would put pressure on the government to take further step to make abortion legally available.
During the campaign leading up to a 2009 referendum on approving a new constitution for the European Union, the Irish hierarchy dismissed the fears of pro-life activists that the nation's pro-life laws could be jeopardized.