The expert group tasked with setting out the options available to the Irish government in light of a European Court of Human Rights ruling on abortion will report by July, Ireland’s ambassador to the UN has confirmed. Gerard Corr, who appeared before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday, said several countries had made reference to Ireland’s position on abortion and response to the judgement in October, when the State first appeared before the council for peer review.
“The expert group, which was established on January 13th, 2012, is composed of 14 experts in the fields of obstetrics, psychiatry, general practice, law, professional regulation and public policy. It is chaired by a judge of the Irish High Court [Mr Justice Seán Ryan] and will present the Government with its written report by end of July this year,” Mr Corr said.
He said of the total 127 recommendations made by member States, Ireland had accepted fully 91. A further 17 had been accepted in part, while 19 had not been supported by Ireland.
Meghan Doherty, speaking for the Irish Family Planning Association, said Ireland had rejected six recommendations on “reproductive rights” from Spain, Denmark, the UK, the Netherlands, Norway and Slovenia. “The outright rejection of these recommendations, along with the continued criminalisation of women in Ireland who need access to safe abortion, is astonishing in a State that expresses such respect for human rights,” she said.
Patrick Buckley, speaking on behalf of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said “the right to life of all members of the human family” was recognised and protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Irish Constitution. He said the will of the Irish people had been expressed through a number of referendums. Mr Buckley said other countries had attempted to instruct Ireland to introduce abortion. “We very much appreciate the fact that the Irish delegation has firmly rejected those calls.”
The Irish Times. March 16.
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