NRL News

U. N. committee again harshly criticizes Ireland’s protective abortions laws

by | Jun 9, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

Cora Sherlock

Cora Sherlock

Since the United Nations and Amnesty International have been targeting Ireland’s pro-life laws for some considerable time, it came as zero surprise that the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Committee found that the nation’s “abortion law violates the U.N. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and called for widespread reform,” to quote the Associated Press.

More specifically, the 29-page report targeted the country, in this instance, because it does not permit abortions in cases where the unborn is diagnosed as having a fatal anomaly.

In 2011 Amanda Mellet complained to the Committee that she’d been told in the 21st week of pregnancy that her baby had a heart defect and “likely would die” inside the womb or shortly thereafter.

“After three weeks, she checked with doctors to see if her now 24-week-old fetus still had a heartbeat and, when told it was still alive, traveled with her husband to the English city of Liverpool” where a premature delivery was induced, the AP reported. 36 hours later she delivered a “stillborn baby girl.”

According to Reuters, “The U.N. report said Ireland’s law made the rights of inviable [nonviable] fetuses superior to the rights of women and this arbitrary imbalance ‘cannot be justified,’ because the unborn child’s life cannot be saved.”

The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights welcomed the “ground-breaking ruling” as sending “the clear message that Ireland’s abortion laws are cruel and inhumane, and violate women’s human rights.”

Amnesty International/Ireland, which is the forefront of the campaign to overturn the Eighth Amendment, chimed in, “The Irish government must take its head out of the sand and see that it has to tackle this issue.”

This tragic case is part of the larger objective–to eliminate Ireland’s “Eighth Amendment.”

“The 8th Amendment (Article 40.3.3.) to the Irish Constitution is the original Life Equality Amendment,” Deputy Chairperson Cora Sherlock of the Pro Life Campaign has explained. “It protects the equal right to life of unborn children and their mothers.”

The pro-life community in Ireland has made an especially concerted effort to defend babies diagnosed with life-limiting conditions. Last year a bill was introduced by Clare Daly to legalize abortions in cases of babies with life-limiting conditions but it was defeated.

“Everyone in the Dáil [the lower house of the Parliament of the Republic of Ireland] knows that Deputy Clare Daly supports abortion on demand up to birth,” Sherlock said at the time.

“The fact that she keeps introducing bills in the Oireachtas [the Parliament] to allow for abortion where unborn babies have life-limiting conditions is just part of her campaign for wider abortion. But it is deeply hurtful to families who opted against abortion in these situations to hear Deputy Daly and her colleagues describe their babies as ‘non-viable’ and ‘incompatible with life’.

Sherlock continued, “It is absolutely reprehensible that some members of the Oireachtas have described the utterly defenceless babies in these situations as ‘simply a piece of flesh with no sensation, capacity for sensation or any form of feeling.’ What a grossly ignorant and insensitive way for a member of the Oireachtas to describe the precious life of a child.”

Categories: Abortion