Irish government rejects UN findings in abortion rights
Irish Government accepts 62 recommendations, rejects six on abortion rights
The Irish Government has rejected six recommendations by the UN Human Rights Council to legalize or partially legalize abortion, according to the Irish Times.
Out of a total of 126 recommendations, the Government accepted 62 and claimed that they would “study carefully” 49 more before the next Human Rights council session in March, 2012.
These recommendations to Ireland were "based on the first review of Ireland’s record under the UN’s Universal Periodic Review, a process that culminated in a hearing involving Minister for Justice Alan Shatter in Geneva last week," the article reported.
These 49 recommendations addressed controversial issues such as conditions in prisons, gender equality, mental health, torture prevention, and children's rights.
Just under half of the 15 recommendations the Government rejected were on the topic of abortion. These included a plea from Slovenia to allow for abortion "at least when pregnancy poses a risk to the health of the pregnant woman" and for the country to implement the judgement made by the European Court of Human Rights on the A, B, and C v Ireland case.
The current law in Ireland regarding abortion holds that abortion is illegal, except where there is a substantial risk to the life of the mother, including the risk of suicide. In those cases, abortion may be legal, but this rule is only applied after the 28th week of pregnancy. However, the 2010 landmark decision that held that Ireland had violated article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which confirms the right for respect with regard to one's privacy, without any interference by a public authority figure. The decision held that, although abortion is illegal in Ireland, it was uncertain whether or not the third participant, C, could have had access to an abortion if she feared her life was in danger; that is, there was no information available to her at the time where she could simply learn her rights in such a situation.
Justice Shatter reported that an "expert group" was to be appointed by the Government next month in order to implement the ruling in the historical civil rights case in an "adequate and comprehensive" way.
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