European Court to Hear Ireland Women’s Abortion Discrimination Lawsuit
by Steven Ertelt
July 28, 2008
Strasbourg, France (LifeNews.com) — The European Court of Human Rights will hold a hearing on a case involving three women who traveled to Britain to obtain abortions. They hope to overturn Ireland’s strong pro-life laws that prohibit abortions unless the life of the mother is in danger.
They say they were denied their rights because the Irish pro-life abortion law requires them to travel out of the country for an abortion.
They also claim the law jeopardizes their health and well-being and they are basing their argument on four articles in the European Convention on Human Rights.
The identity of the women is kept confidential under the lawsuit, but one woman says she had an ectopic pregnancy, another was undergoing chemotherapy for cancer at the time of her pregnancy, and the third had her other children taken away by government officials at the time she became pregnant.
The pro-abortion Irish Family Planning Association is backing the women in the case as part of its crusade to make abortions legal in Ireland.
We hope the case will advance quickly through the court, ultimately making a strong recommendation to the Government to reform Irish laws and the current status quo on abortion, an IFPA representative told the Irish Times newspaper.
The case was originally launched three years ago but the European court requested more information from the Irish government and the women involved.
The final decision of the court is binding and it may hold a public hearing on the case sometime in 2009, the newspaper indicated, or it could decide sooner without a hearing.
IFPA says it is encouraged the court may possibly decide in favor of the women after it ruled in favor of a Polish woman in another abortion case.
Meanwhile, pro-life groups in Ireland are pushing for a stronger constitutional amendment that would further protect unborn children from abortions.
The European Court of Human Rights is part of the Council of Europe that deals with issues of democracy and human rights.
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