British Pro-Life Group Joins Legal Fight to Protect Ireland Abortion Ban in Court
by Steven Ertelt
November 19, 2008
London, England (LifeNews.com) — A top British pro-life group has joined pro-life organizations in Ireland and the United States in defending the Irish ban on abortions. The European Court of Human Rights will hold a hearing likely in early 2009 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.
The European Court of Human Rights granted review of the case, A, B, & C v. Ireland.
The court also decided to allow pro-life organizations to intervene as defendants in the lawsuit and asked them to file a joint brief defending their position.
The Family Research Council, represented by the Alliance Defense Fund pro-life law firm, filed papers supporting the ban with the court.
Now, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has followed suit.
"The pro-abortion lobby is determined to overturn Ireland’s constitutional ban on abortion in a case before the European Court of Human Rights which will have worldwide implications, including in the US," SPUC director John Smeaton says.
Smeaton says the case comes five years after the Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-abortion law firm based in New York, was found to have crafted a strategy of creating an international right to abortion.
"Key to this strategy was the distortion of existing human rights treaties in cases before international courts and in particular before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg," Smeaton explains.
"If the European Court declares Ireland’s protection for unborn children violates the European Convention it will have implications for the whole world which will be very frightening indeed," Smeaton adds.
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.
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 or it could decide sooner without a hearing.
Related web sites:
SPUC – https://www.spuc.org.uk
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