Friday 22 September 2017

Couple to file UN petition after being forced to travel for abortion

Sam Griffin

A WOMAN forced to travel to England to have an abortion because of a fatal foetal abnormality will today file a petition with the UN claiming the Irish Government violated her human rights.

Amanda Mellett (38) and her husband James Burke took the decision to have a termination in December 2011 when they learned their unborn child had a heart defect that meant it would not survive.

The couple had to travel to Liverpool where the termination was carried out. They believe their human rights were violated by being forced to travel for the operation and will have a 120-page petition outlining their arguments submitted to the UN on their behalf.

James Burke told the Irish Independent he was hopeful the UN would support the petition and that the Government would implement further changes to abortion law.

"We hope with a ruling in our favour that the Irish Government will take this into account – and there will be some pressure from the UN to say that Ireland has to get its human rights issues in order – but unfortunately they won't be compelled do anything," he said.

The couple's case is being jointly represented by the group Termination for Medical Reasons Ireland (TFMR) and the international organisation the Centre for Reproductive Rights (CRR).

The groups will submit three cases to the UN in total, beginning with today's petition which will be filed in Geneva, Switzerland.

Irish Independent

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