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Irish Women: Abortion Is a Human Right

In Ireland abortion is illegal unless the pregnancy endangers the life (not just the health) of a woman. Three Irish women have sued their country in the European Court of Human Rights, claiming that the ban violates their human rights — one woman was undergoing chemo when she became pregnant; another had her children taken away by the government after she became pregnant because she couldn't care for all of them; and the third faced a dangerous ectopic pregnancy. All couldn't receive legal abortions in Ireland.

The government will present a staunch defense. Ireland contends that the European Convention on Human Rights does not confer a right to an abortion, and that member nations would never have voted for it if it did. Two American prolife groups were also allowed to file briefs with the court. To see what they have to say,


The American groups argue that there is no international right to abortion, and that unborn children should be guaranteed the protection the typically prolife Irish people gave them.

The same human rights court considering the Irish abortion case previously ordered Poland to guarantee legal abortions if a pregnancy threatens a woman's health, is a result of a crime, or if the fetus is seriously malformed. The court could order Ireland to do the same thing.

Do you think that women have a right to an abortion under these circumstances? Should the human rights court go even further than this?


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