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United Nations Human Rights Committee asks Ireland to amend its abortion laws

Views adopted by the Committee under article 5(4) of the Optional protocol, concerning communication No. 2324/2013
 
In June, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) ruled that Ireland’s abortion laws subject women to ‘discrimination and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.’  On the facts of this case, the right to private and family life was also violated.
 
The UNHRC monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).  People in Ireland can make a complaint to the UNHRC where the Irish government has violated their ICCPR rights (no such equivalent exists in the UK).  The complainant became pregnant in 2011.  She discovered that her foetus had fatal abnormalities and would die in utero or shortly after birth.  The complainant could not legally terminate the pregnancy in Ireland and without receiving any information or advice, travelled to Liverpool for an abortion at her own expense.  She was not given adequate post-abortion care or offered bereavement counselling upon her return. 
 
Decisions of the United Nations Human Rights Committee are not directly legally binding in Ireland, but they can perhaps apply political pressure.  The UNHRC recommended that Ireland should ‘amend its law on voluntary termination of pregnancy, including if necessary its constitution, to ensure compliance with the [ICCPR], including effective, timely and accessible procedures for pregnancy termination in Ireland.’
 
Read Rights Info article here and article from Amnesty International here.
 

Tags
Discrimination, Health