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European court: Ireland's laws against abortion violate human rights

December 16, 2010

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Ireland’s laws against abortion violate the human rights of women.

Although the Strasbourg court has no authority to enforce its ruling, the unanimous ruling will put pressure on the Irish government to enact new laws allowing broader access to legal abortion. The government had defended existing Irish law, but has also strongly promoted full membership in the European community.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled on December 16 in three cases brought by women who had traveled abroad to procure abortions after being unable to do so in Ireland. The court’s ruling came in the case of one woman, who had suffered from cancer and feared that a continued pregnancy could cause a relapse in her condition. The European Court said that Irish law did not provide “effective or accessible procedures” to test her claim. The court based its judgment on the assumption that existing Irish law allows for legal abortion if the mother’s health would be jeopardized by the pregnancy.


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  • Posted by: Obregon - Dec. 16, 2010 10:54 PM ET USA

    So, now when one defends the right to be born of helpless human beings, one is violating human rights? Talk about the world being upside down!

  • Posted by: quinn1971 - Dec. 16, 2010 9:25 PM ET USA

    The great deceiver has struck again. "When the Son of Man returns will he find any faithful"? God help us all.

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Dec. 16, 2010 8:56 PM ET USA

    And who is defending the human right of the baby to life?!

  • Posted by: Wolf of Gubbio - Dec. 16, 2010 6:23 PM ET USA

    First time I've heard of the claim that a pregnancy can cause a relapse of cancer. Sounds like junk science to me.

  • Posted by: eustachius234 - Dec. 16, 2010 5:50 PM ET USA

    Time for Ireland to secede!!!