Ireland’s constitutional amendment protecting the unborn could be overturned in a “pivotal” case before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Some are calling the case “the Roe v. Wade of Europe.”
Three women who sought abortions in Ireland sued under the European Convention on Human Rights to overturn the country’s legal protections for pre-born children. The three women, who obtained abortions in Britain, are trying to establish a “right” to abortion in Ireland in a case titled A, B, and C v. Ireland.
The women also want to establish a precedent that would define abortion as a right across all of Europe under the European Convention on Human Rights.
The lawsuit will be decided in the Grand Chamber of the EHCR in Strasbourg, France. The American groups Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and the Family Research Council (FRC) filed a joint brief in November 2008 with two other pro-life organizations at the court’s request after it allowed the groups to intervene as defendants in this case.
“No one should be allowed to decide that an innocent life is worthless,” commented Roger Kiska, ADF legal counsel. “Ireland’s constitutional amendment defending innocent life is under attack, and the stakes are high for all of Europe.”
ADF Senior Counsel Glen Lavy said the case is “pivotal” not only to Europe but to America as well, because American courts increasingly consider what other countries are doing when deciding their own cases.
“Because this case could be the Roe v. Wade of Europe, its impact upon the U.S. should not be underestimated,” he added.
The UK-based Society for the Protection of Unborn Children and its supporters will hold a vigil outside the ECHR in Strasbourg on Wednesday between 9 a.m. and 12 noon.