11 Dec, 09 | by Deborah Kirklin
Yesterday, three women from the Republic of Ireland took a case to the European Court of Human Rights. The women argued that Ireland’s abortion law-whereby abortion is permitted only if the woman’ life is endangered-violates their human rights. Although this story only made it to page 54 of The Times newspaper I’m guessing it will be of higher interest to many of Ireland’s women, 6,000 of whom make expensive, secretive, and potentially hazardous journeys to the UK each year in search of the abortion which potentially makes them subject to life imprisonment back home in Ireland.
Finding this story, for the second time, in The Times took me a while as I vainly searched in the ‘News” section only to realise I needed to look instead in the “World News”. An indication perhaps of how close the people of the UK and Ireland are in so many ways despite our shared and troubled history. A reminder also of how illusory that sense of closeness is, reflected all too starkly in the different approaches adopted by the UK and Ireland to the issue of abortion. And timely, as, by sheer coincidence, I facilitated, on the same day that the case came to court, a discussion amongst eleven first year medical students about legal, professional and moral rights and duties. more…