UN Human Rights Committee ruling on Ireland’s abortion laws

The United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) has ruled that Ireland’s abortion laws have subjected a woman to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.

Published in June 2017, the ruling identified a violation under articles 7, 17 and 26 of the Covenant (pdf).

The Committee ruled in favor of Siobhán Whelan, who was denied access to abortion services after a diagnosis of a fatal fetal impairment. Ireland must provide Whelan with reparations for the harm she suffered and reform its laws to ensure other women do not face similar violations. The Committee instructed Ireland to legalize abortion and provide effective, timely and accessible abortion services in Ireland.

Leah Hoctor, regional director for Europe at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said:

‘Women’s health and wellbeing are harmed when they have to travel for abortion services. Political will to enable meaningful law reform is now imperative. The Irish government and Oireachtas must show leadership and act.’

Read more on the Centre for Reproductive Rights website.