Dec 5, 2012
commented on Savage Love Episode 319
Dan, since you waited a few weeks to get someone else on to spaek with you about about Savita Halappanavar's tragic death, it might have been an idea for you to get a journalist who knew anything about Irish abortion law.
The European courts didn't rule that Ireland must allow abortion in the case of suicide risk. The Irish supreme court ruled that Ireland's own constitution already allowed for abortion when the mothers life is at risk, including risk from suicide. The European Court ruled 18 years later that Ireland needed to legislate for this supreme court decision.
Irish constitutional law has since the 80s affirmed the equal right to life of the mother and the fetus. There is however no legislation or regulation offering guidance on the specific circumstances inwhich this applies.
in 1992 a 14 year old girl was taken to court to prevent her having an abortion. The Irish supreme court eventually ruled that as the girl was suicidal she was entitled to an abortion on the grounds that her life was at risk.
The Irish government has since run 2 referendums to remove the threat of suicide as grounds for abortion. Both have been narrowly defeated. No legislation or regulation has been forthcoming.
In 2010 three Irish women who had had abortions in the UK took the Irish government to the European court on the grounds that their constitutional right to an abortion in Ireland had been violated. The court ruled that Ireland must legislate to allow women to access the extremely limited abortion rights that their constitution guarantees. No legislation has been forthcoming.
In 2012 two Bills legislating for abortion in the extremely limited circumstances where the mother's life is at rick have been rejected by the Irish government.