December 31, 2012
Ireland Plans to Repeal Abortion Ban, Defying Catholic Church
Irish Catholic Church condemns new legislation, even as European Court of Human Rights urges change.
Ireland has announced plans to reform the country's restrictive abortion policies, allowing women access to abortions in cases where the mother's life is in danger.
The changes arise two years after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Ireland must clarify its abortion laws. However, the reforms came just two months after the death of Savita Halappanavar, who died during a miscarriage after being denied an abortion at a hospital in Galway. Her death sparked protests in both the Irish capital city of Dublin and New Delhi, India, where Halappanavar was from.
Now, according to the Daily Telegraph, "the Irish government has decided to repeal legislation that makes abortion a criminal act and to introduce regulations setting out when doctors can perform an abortion when a woman’s life is regarded as being at risk, including by suicide."
But the change won't come easily. Ireland remains a staunchly Catholic country, and the Irish Roman Catholic Church condemns the policy change as an attempt to "licence the direct and intentional killing of the innocent baby in the womb."