Ireland and Abortion

It seems that the early reports on the European Court of Human Rights ruling was  misleading.  I wrote about it here. It is not as bad as initially reported.

The December 16 decision by the European Court of Human Rights was not a front assault on the Irish laws restricting abortion. Unlike the Roe v. Wade decision, the European court finding did not claim that restrictions on abortion are inherently unjust. In fact, the court upheld the right of the state to limit abortion.

However, the European court ruled that in a specific case, when a woman’s health might be endangered by continuing a pregnancy, Ireland has not made adequate provision for allowing access to abortion. The Strasbourg court charged that Ireland has failed to implement a 1992 ruling by the country’s Supreme Court, which found in the controversial “X case” that abortion must be made legally available to women whose lives would be endangered by pregnancy. Abortion remains illegal in Ireland under all other circumstances.

Thus the European ruling does not require Ireland to repeal its laws against abortion, but only to make some legal provision for those cases in which a pregnant woman’s life or health may be in danger. The European Court of Human Rights has no formal power to enforce its ruling, but the Irish government has indicated that it will study the decision and plan appropriate legislative action.”

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry was ordained in 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren.. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
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