For the second time this, year the United Nations has ruled that Ireland’s ban on abortions violates human rights even though the abortion ban protects the human rights of unborn children.
The United Nations ruled that the Irish government needs to respond to the harm caused to one woman who was denied an abortion. She had to travel from Ireland to England to have an abortion because Ireland has no abortion facilities.
The United Nations claims that Ireland violated the International Covenant on civil and political rights. The pro-abortion UN ruled that Ireland engaged in so-called cruel inhuman and discriminatory treatment against her because it prohibited the cruel inhuman and discriminatory treatment of unborn babies.
The Pro Life Campaign, a prominent pro-life group in Ireland, said today’s comments by the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) on Ireland’s abortion law show that “fairness and impartiality doesn’t even enter the equation when it comes to their deliberations on this issue.”
The UNHRC described Ireland’s abortion laws as “cruel, inhumane and degrading” for not allowing abortion in situations where the unborn baby has a life-limiting condition. The Committee made its remarks after considering the case of Siobhán Whelan who sought an abortion in Ireland in 2010 following an ultrasound scan at 20 weeks gestation which revealed her baby had a congenital brain malformation.
Responding to the UNHRC’s criticism of Ireland and call for abortion to be introduced, Cora Sherlock of the Pro Life Campaign said: “The UNHRC is behaving like the international wing of the Irish abortion lobby. They have taken to attacking Ireland’s pro-life laws every few months but have never, for example, expressed a single word of concern or criticism at the barbaric abortion practices in countries like England and Canada where the ghastly and gruesome practice of denying medical attention to babies born alive after botched abortions is tolerated and routinely happens. Any committee that turns a blind eye to such horrific abuses is in no position to lecture Ireland on its laws.”
Ms Sherlock continued: “The UNHRC is effectively saying that unborn babies with a life limiting condition are worthless and undeserving of any protections in law. I sympathise greatly with the woman at the centre of today’s case and all families who receive a diagnosis that their child has a life-limiting condition. The UN however has no right in the name of human rights to make a value judgment on which lives are valuable and which ones are not. Either we protect every human life or we end up protecting none.
“We like to think of the UN as an honest defender of human rights. The UNHRC is trading on this good name to confer undeserved legitimacy on their own ideological demands. Today’s remarks from the UNHRC is not a court ruling. Ireland is perfectly entitled to determine its own laws in this area and it is outrageous for the Committee to interfere in Irish democracy by ordering us to introduce a procedure which ends human life.”
Parents whose children have been diagnosed with life-limiting conditions have hit out at what they describe as “UN interference in Ireland’s abortion laws” – adding that the international body was “outdated” in failing to realise that new evidence showed better support and care, not abortion, was the compassionate answer in these difficult situations.
Tracy Harkin of Every Life Counts said that it was appalling to see misinformation being pushed by a once-respected human rights body, who were now referring to babies with severe disabilities as ‘fatal abnormalities’ or ‘incompatible with life’.
“The UN has upended all logic here, since it is abortion that is cruel, inhumane and degrading to both mother and baby, and this abortion push has no place in a human rights organisation or in a compassionate and progressive society,” she said.
“It’s clear that this UN Committee has utterly failed to keep up with progressive, modern medicine or with the research that shows that abortion causes significantly more distress and despair to women in these circumstances,” said Ms Harkin. “They seem totally outdated in their understanding, and neither do they seem to be interested in the facts regarding these conditions – one such fact being that no doctor can say with certainty that baby will die before birth, or know how long baby will live after birth.”
“My own daughter, Kathleen Rose, has Trisomy 13, the condition described in this case as incompatible with life, and she is 10 years old. Would the UN tell her, to her face, that she has no right to life?” asked Ms Harkin. “The truth is that every baby that is diagnosed is alive and kicking and has a right to life, and their parents also have a right to that precious time with baby, which brings love and joy and healing.”
Ms Harkin said that research also showed that 90% of Irish parents continued with their pregnancies after such a diagnosis but the voices and the needs of families were being drowned out in the clamour to legalise abortion.