Friday 17 December 2010

European court rules- No human right to abortion, but asks Irish government for clearer regulations

European (Council of Europe Court) makes activist decision on Ireland: Click play to play, in the alternative right click link and select view in new window/tab to download

Article by Marc Aupiais

Despite misleading arguments in media, the Council of Europe (not the EU) European Court of Human Rights, in Strasbourg, in France- has not ruled that Abortion is a human right. The court found that a Lithuanian woman living in Ireland was due Euro 15 000 as she had not been given information as to how her pregnancy related to the success of her Chemotherapy or on what risks it could pose to her health. The other two applicants who wanted ordinary therapeutic abortions were turned down by the court. Ireland was fined for having vague laws on the matter of abortion.

The Irish constitution bans abortion outright, while allowing for the right of life of a woman to be on equal footing: with wording suggesting that procedures not aimed primarily at abortion of a child, but which none the less result in it's collateral unintended/undesired death are acceptable. Procuring an abortion which is not "medically necessary" is considered a crime in Ireland, and both doctor and woman involved could be arrested.

In Attorney General v. X, in 1992,

"In this case in which a 14-year-old girl said she had become pregnant after being raped by her friend's father, the Attorney General of Ireland had enjoined the girl and her parents from traveling to England for an abortion. A psychologist had testified that in her present state of mind, the girl was suicidal. The Supreme Court of Ireland held that the right to life supersedes all other rights, including the right to travel. However, if there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother which can only be avoided by termination of the pregnancy, then an abortion is permissible. The Court determined that the girl's risk of suicide satisfied this condition, and therefore the girl was allowed to terminate her pregnancy."
U.S. National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health (US Government)
Ir Law Rep Mon. 1992 Mar 5;12(47):401-80.

A 1992 decision by the Irish Supreme Court, said that if a woman's life was endangered even by her own suicide threats then she should be allowed an abortion, however the Irish government never legislated on the decision, with many Irish claiming that it was based on false medical science and not real statistics and science. Furthermore, the girl was a 14 year old in the case, with very different anatomy, and unlike an adult immigrant from Lithuania was more of a suicide risk. Also the X case also involved not an abortion denied in Ireland but the right to travel to another jurisdiction to procure it. The girl's age of 14, just past puberty, makes her case very similar to the Recife incident, where the Catholic church none the less stated that the young girl's abortion was unacceptable and murder of her twin children. It also involved rape and a child.

The Irish Times reports that no woman has ever died in an Irish hospital due to lack of an abortion. American murder statistics show that pregnant women are the most vulnerable to murder as compared women at any other stage of life. Abortion is legal in America. Ireland is known for having some of the best maternal health statistics in the world. C-Fam has in the past shown correlation between legal abortion and poor medical practice in many countries such as India etc. In South Africa over half of pregnancies are aborted, with doctors claiming that life threatening situations are not addressed due to an essentially cosmetic surgery.

KPMG, has warned that if the South African population does not grow significantly, an aging longer living older population, without skilled youths to replace it may result in a collapse of the state: in South Africa and in other developing and developed countries with declining population growth rates. One of the reasons given by sources as to why black/Ethnically African South African women used to have such large families according to academically studied work, lies in ANC pressure on women to have more children under threat.

Fertility awareness which is between 95% and 98% effective year on year at preventing unwanted conceptions is permitted by the Catholic church when used "unselfishly" and is generally accepted in African culture which sees western devices such as condoms as an insult to a man's integrity and authority.

According to C-Fam and the Irish lawyers in the case, it was highly irregular for the case to appear in a European court before being judged by Irish courts which could have given clarity on the matter. While the European Court rejected this, it does seem contrary to its purpose.

The court explicitly said the European right to privacy does in no means create a right to abortion, thus rejecting the argument of Rode v Wade.

The Associated Press quotes Ireland's pro-abortion health minister, who notes that Irish anger about submission to the European Union, means that they will not legislate on the matter:

"The judges lambasted Ireland's defense claiming that the woman should have petitioned the Irish High Court for the right to have an abortion in Ireland. They said Irish doctors must be given clear legal guidance on the eligibility rules for abortions.

Health Minister Mary Harney said she was confident that Ireland would draft legislation to bring the country's laws into line with its own Supreme Court — but said the step would have to wait for the next government. Ireland faces an unscheduled national election in the spring.

"Clearly we have to legislate, there's no doubt about that," Harney said. "But I don't think we have the capacity to bring forward proposals in a matter of weeks."

Harney noted that the government twice tried to resolve the issue with referendums in 1992 and 2001, but voters on both sides of the abortion argument rejected that constitutional amendment. In both cases, the government sought to limit the right to legal abortion only to cases where the woman was at risk of death — but excluding suicide threats.

She said lawmakers would face a "highly sensitive and complex" debate over what specific definitions should apply for life-threatening conditions. She said pregnant women suffering from cervical cancer, exceptionally high blood pressure or ectopic pregnancies already were receiving abortions in Irish hospitals.

The vast majority of nations in the 47-member Council of Europe permit broad access to abortion, most recently Spain, which legalized first-trimester abortions in July. Only Malta and Vatican City ban the practice outright, while several others seek to limit it to exceptional cases including rape and fetal abnormalities.

European Court of Human Rights judgments are legally binding but difficult to enforce. Council of Europe nations often take years to enact the legal reforms ordered. An offending nation that refuses to observe a court order could be expelled from the Council of Europe, but this has never happened."
Associated Press (American based; Secular special interests; non-governmental; story hosted by Yahoo)
December 16 / 2010

Whether the Council of Europe decisions are in any way binding is a matter of much debate. The court after all is not a representative of the Irish people.

Homosexuality was legalized following a similar decision by the court in Ireland. The same court banned crucifixes in Italian schools. The judgement is de facto unenforceable and according to C-Fam based on false facts:

"It thus seems that the third applicant (and, following her, the Court) completely distorted and confused the facts of the case. Had the applicant been in need of another cycle of chemotherapy, she would (also under current Irish law) have been entitled to receive it. Indeed, withholding such treatment from her would certainly have raised an issue under Article 2 of the Convention (i.e., the third applicant’s Right to Life). But this does not seem to have been the case. (Yet again, we notice how regrettable it is that the Court made this judgment without ascertaining the facts…) No chemotherapy was withheld from the applicant, nor was the loss of the unborn child caused by any chemotherapy or other treatment. Instead, the woman’s decision to have abortion was based on the irrational and unfounded assumption that the pregnancy might cause her cancer to recommence. This irrational thought would never have sufficed as a ground for “legal” abortion – especially not in a system where, as the ECtHR requests, the eligibility of a woman for having recourse to abortion on grounds of a risk for her life must be ascertained on the basis of objective criteria. One does not see, therefore, how the existence of such a system would ever have resulted in the applicant having access to a “lawful” abortion in Ireland…."
C-Fam (American based; Independent of the State; UN, EU and European and American legal coverage; Catholic, family, human rights and other special interests coverage)
December 16 / 2010

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