Page last updated at 15:15 GMT, Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Ireland abortion: Your comments

Three women are challenging Ireland's abortion laws. They say that their human rights have been abused because of the country's position on abortion.

The women argue that their health and well-being were harmed because they had to travel to Britain to terminate pregnancies.

The Irish government has engaged two leading lawyers to argue its case that the country has a sovereign right to protect the life of the unborn.

Below is a selection of the comments we have received, reacting to the case.


Speaking as someone whose then partner went to England for an abortion, and I accompanied her, I find that the general Irish anti-abortion attitude is hypocritical. Whether it's 'murder' or not, it would be the same if we sent our worst criminals to the USA to be executed. It doesn't solve the problem or its causes, nor take responsibility for an awful, though necessary event that some people must choose during their lives.

Do I regret having an abortion? No. It was the right decision at the time. However, this awful event is something I'll never forget, nor should I. A lesson learned. I hope the three Irishwomen are successful with their case in Strasbourg.
Conor, Dublin, Irish Republic

As an Irish woman I feel that there is no consideration in this country for women who get pregnant. The Irish constitution was written by Catholics and imposes Catholic ideals and values on all of us, despite our own beliefs and despite science. That's why the Irish government are trying to justify denying women the freedom to choose and treating them like baby factories, since their rights are stripped away as soon as they conceive.
Sarah, Dublin, Irish Republic

I am not an Irish citizen, but am outraged that abortion (perfectly legal in the UK for over 50 years) remains illegal today in Ireland. Ireland asks what right does the ECHR have to interfere in domestic law- but what right does the Church have to effectively force countless women to continue with their unwanted pregnancy?

Ireland's draconian law clearly violates a woman's human rights. The decision of whether to continue with a pregnancy should be that of the individual woman in question, not the state.
Jenna Kidd, Edinburgh, UK

I'm an Irish person who has just moved to the UK and I'm delighted to see people standing up to our government. They have just ignored the fact that a number of years ago Ireland had a referendum to change the laws on abortion and the majority of people wanted to legalise it.
Sean, London, UK

It is high time that the Irish government break free of the suffocating influence of the Catholic Church, and that it accept the fact that abortion is a matter of individual choice - a choice usually made with reluctance, and even as a last resort. In 1969, living in London, I helped a French friend who needed an abortion - at that time it was illegal in France.

She later said that the psychological trauma of what she had done was increased a thousand-fold by that of having to travel to a foreign country in order to achieve it.
Patricia, Albi, France


I'm Irish and live in Ireland. I'm a law graduate and have studied the legal problems surrounding abortion. It's just a massive headache, as a ban on abortion is written into our Constitution, which can only be changed in a public referendum.

Personally, I sit on the fence with abortion. I'm opposed to it on religious and moral grounds but I think exceptions can be made where a horrific crime has been committed against young girls and women. No matter what the European Court of Human Rights says, I don't think abortion will ever be legalised in Ireland. At least not in my lifetime anyway.
John, Dublin, Irish Republic

I am very much on the Irish Government's side as we are talking about a child's life and one of the tenets of the European Convention of Human Rights is the right to life.
Greg, Sheffield

Just compare the health and well-being of these ladies with the health and well-being of the unborn child. Also what did the unborn child do to deserve the punishment it received? You have got to love a government that stands up for all people. Even the most innocent.
Geoff, USA

What about the human rights of the unborn children? They are typical mindless, heartless and selfish women. How can anyone live with themselves after taking another human life?
Ewan, London, UK

Human rights or human wrongs? What about the rights of the child in the womb? They have the right to life.
Mark, Lurgan, Northern Ireland, UK

They weren't forced to travel abroad for an abortion, that was their personal choice. They chose not to take precautions during sex and they chose to abort the child when they fell pregnant. Perhaps they need to learn to be more responsible.
Enda, Dublin, Irish Republic

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