I'm keeping this diary purposefully short. It is an ongoing story, for sure. Mostly I'm keeping it short, because I'd love to hear from y'all about today's European Court of Human Rights ruling.  My response to the story is the diary headline.

The summary below the fold.

Less than two hours ago, the Associated Press published an article titled "Court: Irish abortion ban violates women's rights", and it begins:

Ireland's constitutional ban on abortion violates the rights of pregnant women to receive proper medical care in life-threatening cases, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday, harshly criticizing Ireland's long inaction on the issue.

The judgment from the Strasbourg, France-based court backed the right of a woman fighting cancer to receive an abortion in Ireland. It will put Ireland under pressure to draft a law extending limited abortion rights to women whose pregnancies represent a potentially fatal threat to their own health.

Ireland has resisted doing that despite a 1992 judgment from the Irish Supreme Court that said abortions should be legalized in Ireland in all cases where the woman's life is endangered by continued pregnancy — including by a woman's threats to commit suicide.

Of note is that the Irish judge in the case went with the majority of judges.  The verdict was 11-6.

Here's hoping every woman wanting an abortion is allowed to have a safe and legal one (although I realize that will not happen in Ireland).

UPDATE: Thanks and a hat tip to amk for obama for the BBC link:

The woman, who was in remission for a rare form of cancer, feared it might return as a result of her pregnancy.

While abortion in the Republic is technically allowed if a woman's life is at risk, the court said that was not made possible for the woman involved.

But it ruled two other women in the case had not had their rights breached.

The court said the Irish government had failed to properly implement the constitutional right to abortion if a woman's life was in danger.


The first two women in the case were a single mother who had other children in care and a woman who was concerned about the danger of an ectopic pregnancy.

All three women said they had suffered medical complications on returning to the Irish Republic and said they believed they had not been entitled to an abortion under Irish law.

They all complained that Irish restrictions on abortion had stigmatised and humiliated them, risking damage to their health.

However the third woman had argued that even though she believed her pregnancy had put her life at risk, there was no law or procedure for her to have her right to an abortion established.

The court said that the government in Dublin had breached the third woman's right to respect for her private life by its "failure to implement the existing constitutional right to a lawful abortion in Ireland".

Originally posted to BoxerDave on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 08:06 AM PST.

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