"I'm afraid that the Human Rights Committee has exposed itself as effectively a pro-abortion lobby group, which, at the very least, calls in to question the body's right to comment on matters in relation to human rights," Kelly told CNA.
He objected that the action called into question the right to life of children with life-limiting conditions. Kelly said the ruling was "a deep betrayal" of the U.N.'s founding principles and its commitment to defend human rights.
The pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights, headquartered in New York City, had filed the complaint to the U.N. human rights committee on the woman's behalf.
Leah Hoctor, the center's European regional director, said the decision would encourage those seeking legal change in countries where abortion is criminalized, the U.K. newspaper The Guardian reports.
Ui Bhriain charged that the Center for Reproductive Rights "used the most vulnerable children of all, unborn babies with severe disabilities, to try to drive a wedge in Ireland's abortion laws."
Kelly told CNA that Ireland's current government has pledged to hold a citizens convention on the issue of repealing the Eighth Amendment to the Republic of Ireland's constitution. The exact details are not confirmed, but politicians and members of the general public will be among the convention's members.
Kelly said there is concern that pro-abortion lobbyists will infiltrate the gathering. He also voiced concern that parliament is abdicating its responsibility by referring the issue to the convention.
Smaller political parties in Ireland have called for making abortion available, but the 2016 general election saw many pro-life deputies elected to parliament.
In Kelly's view, the ruling will have an impact on the campaign to legalize abortion in Ireland.
"Unlike other countries, Ireland has tended to fetishize U.N. rulings in recent years and seems to pay more attention to opinions from international organizations than it does to public opinion in Ireland," he said.
Kelley said the Irish pro-life movement is mobilized, but needs to intensify its efforts.
(Story continues below)
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"The pro-abortion lobby is extremely well-funded and supported from overseas," he said. "Pro-life campaigners must redouble their campaign to make politicians aware of the depth of feeling that there is in Ireland to defend the pro-life position of our constitution."
Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh has called for "strong character" to defend the right to life of mothers and babies, the Irish Catholic reports.
"May we never forget that the defenseless unborn child is a real, human person, worthy of love and protection," he said at the 30th anniversary celebration of the All Ireland Rosary Rally at Knock shrine.