December 3, 2012
The False Promise of Life Exceptions to Abortion Bans
The Cap Times: What the Irish abortion tragedy means for the U.S., by Julie F. Kay:
When I argued a case challenging Ireland’s ban on abortion before the European Court of Human Rights in 2009, I told the story of my client, “Ms. C,” who had been battling cancer when she became pregnant. Ms. C’s doctors in Ireland, where abortion is illegal and lifesaving abortion is largely unavailable, refused to provide her with even basic information about the risk that continuation of pregnancy posed to her life, and so she had no option but to travel to England to obtain an abortion.
The human rights court found this to be a clear violation of my client’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights and in 2010 demanded that Ireland reform its abortion laws. The case was considered a major victory for women.
But the victory exists only on paper, as is clear from the tragic case of Savita Halappanavar. . . .
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