The ever divisive issue of abortion once again surfaced as to whether or not it is a human right of women. The European Court of Human Rights agreed with the petition of three women from Ireland that their nation’s restrictive laws which make an abortion a crime punishable by prison to be a violation of their inherent human right to decide what happens to their bodies. Irish Attorney General Paul Gallagher challenged the court decision because it ignored “profound moral values deeply embedded in Irish society.” As one who has mixed feelings concerning the issue of abortion, it is also clear that an individual has a right to decide what happens to her body. Much as I would prefer that abortion not be performed, the bottom line is there is no right for a man to tell a woman what she can or cannot do to herself when it is an issue of health.
A law passed in 1861 has at least to be rethought in light of contemporary issues of human rights. There are women who abuse the fetus by obesity or by use of drugs and we allow such behavior. If the fetus has rights as claimed by opponents of abortion, why don’t the support laws that prevent a pregnant woman becoming obese or using drugs?