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Colm O'Gorman, Executive Director of the Irish branch for Amnesty International Photo by: Amnesty International

Amnesty International says Ireland’s abortion laws are not in line with international human rights

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Colm O'Gorman, Executive Director of the Irish branch for Amnesty International Photo by: Amnesty International

Amnesty International’s annual report includes is very critical of Ireland’s proposed abortion legislation updates, which are being debated currently.

The Irish Times reports that Colm O’Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International’s Irish division, was very critical of proposed new abortion legislation and how it is far too open to interpretation.

O’Gorman said, “In the proposed legislation, the Government must ensure that the interpretation of ‘real and substantial’ risk to their lives guarantees that women will not be denied timely care.”

“The timeframes for review procedures are too long and the clauses on conscientious objection are too vague. These have to be reviewed.”

“The proposed 14-year sentence for a woman or doctor obtaining an abortion must be revoked,” added O’Gorman.

"Above all, the report notes that until Ireland's laws allow for abortion in cases of rape and incest, risk to a woman's health or cases of fatal foetal abnormality, they will be out of line with international human rights standards." 

Other issues concerning Ireland in the annual report focused on the country’s need to enact more policy to protect women from violence. 

The report said that despite preaching women’s protection abroad, “Ireland is in the minority of countries in Europe that have not signed the Council of Europe Convention on Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, despite committing to do so at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in March of last year.

The majority of the report focused on the war in Syria, saying that the international community was doing enough. “The failure to effectively address conflict situations like Syria is creating a global underclass of refugees,” O’Gorman said. “The rights of those fleeing conflict are unprotected."

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