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No solution for the majority of women seeking abortion

The protection of maternal life bill passed by the Irish parliament last week may 
be progress in principle but in practice Ireland will still have one of the most 
restrictive abortion regimes, says Leslie Keegan

23 July 2013

The controversial Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill was passed by the Irish parliament in the early hours of 11 July.

The proposals in the bill legislate for the 1992 X case (Attorney General v X [1992] 1 I.R. 1) which was taken by a 14-year-old rape victim who became pregnant, was suicidal and was refused permission to travel for an abortion. The judgment from Ireland's Supreme Court was that if there was a real and substantial risk to the life, as distinct from the health of the mother, which can only be avoided by the termination of her pregnancy then this could be carried out. The risk to life included the threat of suicide.

The bill is also intended to meet the requirements from the ECtHR decision in A, B and C v Ireland case (A, B and C v Ireland [2010] ECHR 2032). The Strasbourg court determined that Ireland failed to respect Ms C's private life contrary to article 8 of the convention. It found there was no accessible and effective ...

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