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Irish abortion laws challenged in European court

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Irish abortion laws challenged in European court


Strict abortion laws in Ireland are coming under the spotlight today at the European Court of Human Rights. Three Irish women have brought the case, arguing that Ireland’s laws are against the Convention of Human Rights and jeopardised their health and well being.

The court will hear the specific case of a 44-year-old woman who went to the UK for an abortion after a test revealed her unborn baby had a severe abnormality. Ireland only allows abortions to be carried out if the mother’s life is in danger. A further toughening up of the rules was rejected in a referendum in 2002 by a slim majority. The Irish Family Planning Association, which is supporting the case, estimates that about 6,000 Irish women travel to the UK every year for abortions. A judgement on the case is not expected until next year.
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