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Scrutiny of Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws

By February 1, 2010News

Irish Medical News – 1 February 2010

The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) and a number of pro-life groups (sic) have welcomed the publication of the Human Rights Watch report A State of Isolation: Access to Abortion for Women in Ireland.

The report claims the Irish Government actively seeks to restrict access to abortion services and information.

According to the IFPA, the criminalisation of abortion in Ireland violates international human rights standards, has little impact on abortion rates, and “merely adds to the burden and stress experienced by women experiencing crisis pregnancies”.

Since 1980, at least 138,000 women have travelled abroad to access safe and legal abortion services. Forty-four out of 47 European countries provide for abortion to protect women’s health, pointed out the IFPA.

This is the second time in the last two months that Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws have been scrutinised by international human rights bodies. In December the European Court of Human Rights heard a challenge to Ireland’s abortion laws.