Ireland Government Rejects UN Call to Legalize Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 15, 2012   |   12:32PM   |   Dublin, Ireland

The Irish government is drawing praise from pro-life advocates for rejecting a call from the United Nations and UN member states to legalize abortion.

The Irish Government’s decision to reject recommendations made by a number of UN member states for Ireland to legislate for abortion “recognizes the reality that Ireland is the safest country in the world for women to give birth” the Pro Life Campaign (PLC) has said.

Last October, the Irish government appeared before the UN Human Rights Council as part of the Universal Periodic Review process and rejected calls made by six countries for Ireland to legislate for abortion.  The countries were Holland, Germany, Denmark, Slovenia, Norway and Spain.

Today, the Irish government presented a report designed as a response to a series of other recommendations made last year as part of the UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva this morning and it confirms Ireland’s decision to reject calls for abortion.

Responding to the adoption of the Universal Periodic Review report, Pro-Life Campaign spokesperson Dr Ruth Cullen welcomed the governments stance.

Cullen said: “Calls for abortion legislation fly in the face of the United Nation’s own recent research showing that Ireland, without abortion, is a world leader in terms of safety for women in pregnancy. Maternal safety in Ireland, it should be noted, is better than in the six countries which last year sought to put pressure on Ireland to introduce abortion. The latest UN study on maternal mortality, published in 2010, shows that out of 172 countries for which estimates are given, Ireland remains a world leader in safety for pregnant women.”

The Pro Life Campaign in Ireland recently marked the 20th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in the X Case.

The 1992 case of the Attorney General -v- X was a landmark case when the Supreme Court held that abortion was permissible in certain circumstances, including the threat of suicide.  The court heard no medical evidence.  The X Case decision has not been legislated for in the twenty years since, largely because the position taken by the court is not supported by the Irish public and medical evidence.

Commenting on the twentieth anniversary of the X case decision, Pro Life Campaign spokesperson, Cora Sherlock said: “The reason successive governments have not introduced abortion in line with the X case ruling is because there are fatal flaws in the court’s decision.  First, the court heard no medical evidence and set no time limits for when an abortion could take place. Second, legislation based on the X ruling would fly in the face of the mounting evidence in one peer-reviewed study after another showing serious negative effects for a significant number of women following from abortion.”

“Women deserve better than abortion and so do their babies. The challenge for us in Ireland is to keep improving our world leading record in safety for mothers and their unborn children rather than going down the route of legalized abortion,” Sherlock concluded.