UN ruling on abortion laws
Both sides in Ireland's fractious abortion debate have responded along predictable lines to a call by the United Nation's Human Rights Committee on the Government to reform Ireland's abortion legislation after ruling that it subjected a woman to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and violated her human rights.
The ruling calls on Ireland to introduce "accessible procedures for pregnancy termination" to prevent similar violations in the future. The judgement marks the first time that an international human rights committee has recognised that by criminalising abortion, a state has violated a woman's human rights.
The UN Human Rights Committee panel found that Ireland's prohibition and criminalisation of abortion services subjected the woman concerned to severe emotional and mental pain and suffering in 2011, when she was told she could not have an abortion in this country even though doctors had discovered that the foetus had congenital defects that meant it would die in the womb or shortly after birth.