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11 / 12 / 2009 - Youth Defence members hold vigil at Strasbourg Court
Members of Youth Defence travelled to Strasbourg to hold a vigil outside the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as the hearing of the ABC V Ireland case began. They said that they were protesting the “profoundly undemocratic push by the abortion industry to seek the imposition of abortion on Ireland by a foreign court.”
The case was sponsored by the Irish Family Planning Association with the express intention of using a foreign court to overturn Irish pro-life laws and the pro-life ethos of the majority of Irish people.
The hearing was before the Strasbourg court’s grand chamber of 17 judges. The plaintiffs in the case claim that our ban on abortion violates their human rights. The human rights of the person whose life is being ultimately judged – the unborn child - are being ignored.
The three petitioners in the case, only named as A, B & C, allege that they were forced to travel overseas to obtain abortions, undergoing unnecessary expenses and hardship due to the nation's pro-life laws.
Youth Defence said in a statement that any decision on abortion could only be made by the Irish people who had the sovereign right to decide on issues of national importance. “This is not a matter for a foreign court to decide,” said Rebecca of Youth Defence, adding that “the IFPA had failed to persuade the people of Ireland of the validity of the abortion’s industry’s claims and were now seeking to have abortion imposed on the country.”
Previous judgements made by the ECHR include the ruling in Tysiac v Poland case in 2007, where the court ignored the evidence of eight medical experts where a woman who claimed that a ‘therapeutic’ abortion could have saved her eyesight. Youth Defence said that this gave rise to doubts on the impartiality of the court’s judgements in relation to the right-to-life.
Ms Roughneen said that “A, B and C are claiming that their rights to procure an abortion on Irish soil were denied on a number of instances. But their advisors in the IFPA are deliberately confusing legitimate medical treatment with abortion.” She pointed out that the medical treatment for an ectopic pregnancy, for example, is called a salpingectomy, and is a perfectly legitimate procedure in Ireland. “This treatment is the removal of an ectopic pregnancy where the baby may die, but the baby is not deliberately killed. It’s not a surgical abortion which deliberately and violently ends the unborn child’s life,” she said, adding that “abortion is not healthcare, it is the denial of the most basic human right; the right to life.”
Youth Defence said they wanted to emphasise that medical treatment is never refused in Ireland for cancer, ectopic pregnancy, or any other condition for a pregnant woman who needs it. They accused the IFPA of attempting to frighten women in order to have abortion legalised.
Prayers are asked for the continued protection of mothers and babies and for the case against Ireland to be dismissed.
Source: Youth Defence