16 June 2011
The Government's decision to delay the implementation of the ABC v Ireland judgment illustrates a disregard for women's human rights, according to the Irish Family Planning Association.
IFPA Chief Executive Niall Behan said: "The Government's decision to establish yet another committee to investigate this issue shows a disappointing lack of leadership. This decision essentially delays of the implementation of the ABC v Ireland judgment. When it comes to abortion to protect women's life and health the Government is in danger of falling into the same pattern of inaction adopted by past governments.
"Three all party Oireachtas committees have already undertaken lengthy consultation proceedings on abortion. It is unlikely that the establishment of an expert group will satisfy the requirements of the European Court of Human Rights judgment. The Court has already criticised the State for failing to act on recommendations from the extensive and costly public and parliamentary processes that have already taken place.
"Failure to take decisive action regarding lawful abortion in Ireland over the last two decades has resulted in an erosion of Ireland's international human rights reputation. The Government must restore Ireland's tarnished human rights reputation by swiftly implementing the constitutional right to abortion established in the Supreme Court judgment on the X Case and two subsequent referenda.
"Every day that the State fails to reform its restrictive abortion laws, it is violating the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights. We've had a long and in-depth process as well as much debate; it's time for the Government to act decisively and provide legal certainty on when a physician may carry out an abortion in Ireland."
The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) is Ireland's leading sexual health charity. The IFPA offers a comprehensive range of services which promote sexual health and support reproductive choice on a not-for-profit basis, including clinical and counselling services, sexual and reproductive health information, education and training.
In 2010 the IFPA provided pregnancy counselling and advice to 4,740 clients through our pregnancy counselling network of 11 centres and our national pregnancy helpline. These services are offered to women, girls and couples for free and are provided by professional accredited psychotherapists and counsellors.