Do Irish Women Have Right To Abortion?

Three Irish women are appealing to the European Human Rights Court to have the right to an abortion in their native land of Ireland. Although Ireland in 1992 granted the right to an abortion if the life of the mother was threatened, the plaintiffs argue most doctors are afraid to draw upon that law because they still could be subjected to fine or imprisonment. In effect, they argue the law has turned out to be a bogus document which is not enforced. The women, A, B, and C say they have a right to an abortion, particularly in cases where the life of the mother is threatened if she goes through with child birth.

The Irish government argues that abortion violates their moral and religious values and that nations have the right to pursue individual historical laws that are part of the national culture. The issue raises interesting issues as to whether or not a nation whichu belongs to an international body and is bound to accept laws of the group has a right to break away on certain issues. The bottom line is if a nation can avoid following abortion rights do Muslims in a European nation have a right to adhere to sharia laws?

  • Sean

    There are so few ethical topics today that are defended so fiercely on both sides as abortion. I come from a Christian background and would have to say that the three women should be given permission to have an abortion if having the children proves any sort of medical danger to the lives of the mothers. We know that before medicine was where it is today, women died from childbirth all the time, and still in third world countries where medical help is not readily available.

    The term for the women to be allowed an abortion due to medical problems is “the life-of-the-mother position.” Davis the author of Evangelical Ethics states the defense of the life-of-the-mother position as, “It is represented in the official pronouncements of the Roman Catholic, eastern Orthodox, and Orthodox Jewish religious leaders. In this understanding, only in those rare cases where continuation of the pregnancy would present a threat to the mother’s life would abortion be morally justified”(p. 155). Davis goes on to explain in these rare circumstances, “Rather than letting two lives perish, surgical intervention is indicated in order to save the life that can be saved.” Medicine is a gift from God and can be used for both good and bad. It can be used to safe lives as well as end lives. Even in the case of life-of-the-mother position, a life is being ended and God hates to see death.

    As for the Irish government arguing abortion violates their moral and religious values that are an issue for their government and every other government for that matter to decide. America, itself was one of these nations that broke away on certain issues when Britain still rules the colonies. I think that the commendable fact for the Irish government is that they are holding to their moral and religious values in the first place. Many nations will place religious ethics on the back burner and only rarely allow ethics to be determined by religion.