At the UN meeting, delegates from Britain, Denmark, Spain and other countries had called for Ireland to legalize abortion - with Denmark calling for legislation to allow for abortion on demand. The countries pointed to a controversial ruling by the European Court of Human Rights in the famous A,B,C case, that demanded that Ireland introduce legislation to allow abortion in cases when the mother’s life is in danger.
In response, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter had claimed that the Irish Supreme Court had decided that it was lawful to terminate a pregnancy in Ireland when it is necessary to preserve the life of the mother, and that the government would address the issue and meet their obligations under the Convention on Human Rights – a muted response that was slammed by pro-life advocates.
“Minister Shatter did not refer to the fact that the majority of Irish people oppose abortion, and that the people, rather than the European Court, decide Ireland’s pro-life laws,” said Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute at the time. “And he failed to point out that Ireland’s leading medical experts had confirmed - before a parliamentary committee - that abortion was never medically necessary.”
Yesterday the UN published its draft outcome report from the Universal Periodic Review of Ireland’s human rights record, which revealed that Ireland had rejected 15 of the UNs recommendations, including all the recommendations relating to abortion.
The decision was welcomed by Uí Bhriain. “Today’s decision to reject the demands at the UN for Ireland to legalise abortion are a result of the huge numbers of people who contacted their representatives to insist that we continue to protect our unborn children,” she said.