The European Court of Human Rights has increased pressure on the Irish government to re-examine their abortion laws.

In response, the Irish government has announced that it will establish an expert group to examine how to deal with a damning judgment made against Ireland last December.

This will be the fourth group set up in Ireland to make recommendations on Ireland’s abortion laws and they could potentially recommend another referendum on the issue.

Last December, the court found that the rights of a Lithuanian woman, known only as "C", who was suffering from a rare form of cancer and forced to travel from Ireland to Britain for an abortion, had been violated.
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The court found that travelling abroad for an abortion was a significant psychological, physical, and financial burden on women.

The ECHR has called on Ireland to establish in what circumstances abortion is considered legal in Ireland.

Irish health minister James Reilly plans to name the 14-member group by the end of the year. The group is expected to be made up of medical and legal professionals and will examine various ways in which Ireland can comply with the European ruling.

Meanwhile a new study published by BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, shows that countries with restricted access to abortion do not have lower termination rates.