Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Cruel, inhuman and degrading

That's the United Nations Human Rights Committee's view of Ireland's archaic abortion laws:

The United Nations has again ruled that Ireland’s abortion laws have subjected a woman to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.

It is the second time in 12 months that the UN’s human rights committee has denounced the abortion rules in the Irish Republic, which denies women with fatal foetal abnormalities the right to terminate pregnancies.

The committee has found in favour of Siobhán Whelan, an Irish woman who was denied access to an abortion in 2010 despite being diagnosed with fatal foetal syndrome during her pregnancy, it was announced on Tuesday.


In the Whelan case, the UN committee held that Ireland must also provide her with reparations for the harm she suffered and reform its laws to ensure other women do not face similar human rights violations.

The latter means making abortion accessible and legal. But that in turn will require amending the Irish constitution. There are moves afoot to do that, but until it happens, more women will suffer as Siobhán Whelan did.