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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?


Join The Conversation
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
I totally agree with Lola. My cousin just had her 5th child in 6 years. Her first 4 children were taken away from her and that caused hell for my grandparents who were raising the children and my Mom who was asked to adopt the kids even though her youngest just turned 18 and she was finally "free". She moved to another state, got pregnant immediately and signed over parental rights to the father's parents. She was supposed to get her tubes tied after her 3rd child but the government wouldn't pay for it so she didn't do it. Instead her children are raised on welfare by a father who may have been molesting them just cause she was never taught or didn't care enough to use condoms. It makes me sick.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
I believe all women have a right to choose no matter the circumstances.
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
Wow so you could expose a child repeatedly to chemo but not abort the child to possibly save yourself from dying? So, if she happens to deliver a stillborn child early due to its exposure to chemo that is ok? I and all women deserve the right to have a choice. Don't decide for me unless you will adopt my child and sign legal documents saying you will.
lolak lolak 8 years
Ok fcseamstress, but I wasn't referring only to her. I meant, and I think we all know that there are woman who get pregnant because of lack of responsibility. Also I know that birth control isn't 100% that is why I said that there are times in which you don't have control of the situation being because of that or other causes. This woman how ever I believe it's clear that the reason she is suing is because she couldn't get an abortion and already had more kids than she could care for. The point I'm trying to push is that woman should take responsibilities for their actions instead of taking solace in the fact that this procedure is available. I understand other factors, although I have to admit that I'm not sure to what extent being raised a christian but I really doubt God would want us to die if there is a way to prevent that. He is not a blind God and I'm sure He forgives such emergencies. My point goes to thoes who actually have a way to prevent having to face such a sad choice
fcseamstress fcseamstress 8 years
lola - We don't know the reason why the woman got her children taken away... It may not have been plain irresponsibility that caused her situation. Maybe she was mentally unstable or maybe she was physically ill and couldn't care for her children properly and that's why they were taken away. Maybe she was irresponsible, her children got taken away and she was on birth control when she got pregnant again. Birth control isn't 100%, even using it correctly, and I wouldn't say that's her fault. IMHO, every woman deserves the choice, whether they use it or not. And that choice shouldn't come with strings attached (ie. you only get to choose if you were raped, health, etc.) Until pro-lifers adopt every unwanted pregnancy AND give the mother compensation for their suffering or give women life-long incomes to support unwanted pregnancies I will be pro-choice.
lolak lolak 8 years
OK, I totally understand why certain woman would absolutely need to make this choice. But the second woman who got her kids taken away because she couldn't care for them does not make me feel sad for her!!!!! makes me feel bad for her children!!!!!!!! woman need to be more responsible and learn to take care of themselves first so they can take care of their children. You just can't open your legs and then want the choice to abort! that plain and simple is irresponsibility and ignorance! and this is what pisses me off about this topic. THE IRRESPONSIBILITY AND LACK OF COMMON SENSE in some women who want to abort because they couldn't control themselves in a time of heat! There are clinics giving away FREE birth control to avoid woman having to face this choice and if you have the money for an abortion then you have the money for condoms! Like I said, I can understand why SOME woman need this, there are times in which you just don't have control over the situation but for the love of GOD!! we live in an age in which things are a little easier and the knowledge is more advanced than ever so if you want the choice at least be smart enough to have responsibility of yourself
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
"These babies are people too! I firmly believe that murder is wrong. I also believe that the ends do not justify the means. We cannot murder one person to help another" NO "WE" shouldn't be we aren't doctors who should first do no harm, and by not performing an abortion they are harming thier patient i.e. the mother
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
Wow, for the two specific cases where there is an ectopic pregnancy, and Chemo the women are well within their human rights to request and be granted and Abortion. First of all by not aborting the ectopic pregnancy you are putting the mother/baby at risk and chemotherapy drugs are poison used to treat a medical condition, and in itself could abort a child but in a dramatic and unnecessary fashion so why not do the humane thing? This is so sad
kcmosinki kcmosinki 8 years
I think this issue boils down to one simple question, do you believe an unborn baby is fully human and worth protecting just as much as you are? If your answer is yes then you'd be against ending one life for the convenience or health of another and if your answer is no then you'd want to afford women (and men) an individual right to decide what's best for them. But no matter what side of the argument you're on, can i just say it makes me happy to see adults with strong opposing opinions be able to voice them in a respectful manner. I wish the rest of the country could be like this.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
You would think that at least the health of the woman would be taken into account. It's not fair for a woman going through chemo to be expected to carry a baby to term.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
Um, if there's no provision for the HEALTH of the mother that is barbaric. This decision should be between a woman and her doctor without the judgment of the government.
cfp cfp 8 years
MrsRachel, that was a very moving story and your grandmother is a very brave woman for doing what she did. It's fortunate for her that she gets to live in a country where she had the right to make that hard decision for herself, though. That is my only problem with the law in Ireland. I'm not saying that all women with health concern should be urged to abort their fetuses, I just don't believe that, when faced with a personal health risk/crisis that the state should make that decision for a woman. Given the choice, there will be many brave women like your grandmother, but there are also going to be women who are very scared about the huge risk that their pregnancies impose on their health, and I believe that women should be allowed to make this very difficult decision for themselves. They shouldn't be forced by the state to potentially sacrifice/forfeit their own bodies and health if they don't want to. That's what pro-choice is all about: understanding that DESPITE my personal beliefs (and I what I would do in this situation), I can't make the decision for someone else.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I'm pro choice all the way.
tarynitup tarynitup 8 years
It would be much easier to empathize with pro-lifers if they were actively helping the women and families they encourage to have babies. Pro-life should also mean pro-adoption. Pro-life should also mean lobbying for laws that support and increase women's abilities to take care of themselves and their families. Women, especially poor women need better health care, PAID maternity leave, better child care options, better pay of child care providers, etc. Love and good intentions does not make for a healthy, happy life. It's very simple minded to say "just have the baby and everything will work out!" If they really want women to choose life they need to acknowledge the complexities of modern life and show through their WORDS AND ACTIONS various ways of facing these challenges. Anything less is irresponsible.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
I really don't get into this topic, because it's like skigurl was one is pro-abortion [i.e. no one willingly is advocating ending pregnancies just because, there's reasons behind it], but everyone should have the right to choose what is right for them. Also, in each of the special cases described [and others like them], I just have to wonder...what guarantees that either the children or the mothers will survive and thrive under those circumstances? What person or governing body gets to determine that?
Desert Desert 8 years
I think Christine said it perfectly. :)
skigurl skigurl 8 years
i dont tend to get into this obama said, no one is pro-abortion but everyone should have the right to choose what is best for their body and their health and their life.... cfp i think you raise a good argument about the cancer. i never thought of it that way.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I think it's a basic right to choose what is best for your own body, so pro-choice all the way, especially in the instances described above.
lavendera lavendera 8 years
That's insane. I choose choice.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
I think all government should stay out of the choices people make when it comes to everything -- especially such a personal issue. I am pro-choice. There is no way in hell someone can tell me to have a baby if I am not ready, not healthy enough, not in the financial place. And to say I cannot have an abortion if my health is at risk is ridiculous. It comes down to a matter of being realistic. If you do not give women abortions, they could either face serious health risks, give themselves their own "version" of abortion, or have a baby and throw it in a dumpster. When it comes down to it...I do not need some stuck up man who will never have a period, ovulate, let alone push a baby through his vagina have ANY say in regards to me having or not having an abortion. At least the thoughts are not as ridiculous coming from women in my opinion. However, you can tell me that it's murder all you want...but I am on birth control, and if I got pregnant, obviously it was a huge why not save the child, myself and my boyfriend the trouble of living a miserable life, and have an abortion? And you can make damn sure if I wanted a baby, but my health was at risk, I would rather have an abortion that carry to term and kill both of us.
redchick152 redchick152 8 years
MrsRachel, that is an amazing story, but its not the norm. i'm pro-choice...if something was terminally wrong with me and i was pregnant, i would want the CHOICE to either have the baby or save myself. i'm not saying i would automatically choose abortion, but i think i deserve all the possible options.
MrsRachel MrsRachel 8 years
These babies are people too! I firmly believe that murder is wrong. I also believe that the ends do not justify the means. We cannot murder one person to help another, even though the end result might (and this is a big might) help someone--it doesn't give anyone the right to kill. Oh, CPF, my grandmother, over forty years ago, while pregnant with her fourth child discovered that she had cancer. The doctors encouraged her to abort. She stayed strong and did not while suffering though the treatments that she could take. The doctors said that she was signing her death sentence, they told her this over and over again. Well, she safely delivered my uncle, won her battle with cancer, had THREE more children, battled cancer once again, and now lives to see her great grandchildren. The human body is amazing.
sprinkibrio sprinkibrio 8 years
I don't understand Ireland. Removing an ectopic pregnancy is not at all considered an abortion in the US because it rarely, rarely makes it to term and in the process has a high, high risk of maternal death. Ridiculous.
French-Kiss French-Kiss 8 years
I am pro abortion, untill it is done before hum 10 weeks i think it is ... Here in France we have the right, not all doctors will do it though. I find, as marie said, that every woman should have the choice.
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