Woman loses fight over abortion claim
A WOMAN has lost a battle in the European Court in which she was claiming discrimination because of Ireland's lack of abortion services.
The European Court of Human Rights has rejected the complaint from the woman who went to the UK to have an abortion.
The 45-year-old woman, living in Ireland and known as D, claimed that she was discriminated against by the absence of abortion services.
She claimed her rights were violated because she had to travel to England in 2001 for an abortion after she discovered her child would be born severely handicapped.
But her complaint was rejected on the grounds that she had not exhausted domestic remedies as she had failed to bring an action before the Irish courts. The application was lodged with the ECHR on July 2 2002 and a hearing took place on the September 6 last year. The Pro-Life Campaign in Ireland had submitted that it did not believe D's rights were contravened by Ireland's prohibition on abortion.
"If abortion were permitted solely on grounds where the unborn child has a disability, it would dramatically alter Ireland's ethos of care for those most in need of protection," it said at the time.
She had claimed that because she was not able to obtain an abortion on Irish soil, her rights under several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights were violated, including articles 3 and 8.
Article 3 stipulates that nobody be subjected torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Article 8 concerns the right to respect for private and family life and of no interference by a public authority with the exercise of that right.