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03rd Dec 2016

Irish government may have to compensate women who are forced to travel for an abortion

Could this be the case that breaks the 8th?

The UN Human Rights committee has ruled that Irish woman, Amanda Mellet, is owed compensation by the Irish government as she was forced to travel abroad for an abortion. The committee said that Ireland is denying citizens their basic human rights.

Earlier this week the government agreed to pay Amanda Mellet €30,000 as compensation for the breach in her human rights. Ms Mellet travelled to the UK to terminate her pregnancy after being told her baby would die in the womb or shortly after birth.

The repercussions of this case are potentially massive. It lays precedent for women who are unable to access abortion in Ireland, specifically in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities but could easily be applied to other instances of crisis pregnancy.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Prof Sarah Cleveland, a member of the UN committee said that if women in a similar situation to Ms Mellet took a case to the committee, the Government would also be required to pay them compensation.

Another case against the Irish government, similar to Amanda Mellet’s is currently before the UN committee and it is reported that more cases are likely.

The Irish government has previously been told by the UN to change its abortion laws and the pressure has intensified after this ruling.

The question must be now asked if it will be the threat of financial loss through thousands of euro in compensation that forces the government to change Ireland’s abortion laws.

Confused about the 8th amendment and what Ireland’s abortion laws are? Brush up here.