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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
Irish abortion plea in High Court
Dublin
The case will go before the High Court in Dublin
The High Court in Dublin is to hear a legal action on behalf of a pregnant 17-year-old girl, prevented from travelling to Britain for an abortion.

The case, to be heard on Thursday, is a landmark challenge to the Republic of Ireland's strict laws against abortion.

The girl is four months pregnant, but sought an abortion after learning her child wouldn't survive after birth.

She is in the care of the Republic's health service which issued an order preventing her going to Britain.

In court on Tuesday, lawyers for the state suggested that the HSE - the Republic's NHS - may not have the power to issue such an order.

Abortion is illegal in the Republic of Ireland. Women have the right to travel to undergo one, if they are suicidal.

The court heard that the woman, while distressed, is not suicidal. This means a new legal ruling is needed.

The court said it wants to resolve the case quickly and will hear the matter in full on Thursday.






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