Opposition to the introduction of Abortion in this country.
DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Health [Dr. James Reilly]
by Deputy Mattie McGrath
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 11/07/2012
* To ask the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the European Court of Human Rights cannot oblige our nation to adopt it's recommendations and that the Irish people have already clearly expressed their opposition to the introduction of abortion in this country; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Mattie McGrath T.D.
As the Deputy will be aware, Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights states that “The High Contracting Parties undertake to abide by the final judgment of the Court in any case to which they are parties”. Ireland has signed and ratified this Convention and therefore Ireland is under a legal obligation to implement the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in A, B and C v Ireland.
However, I would like to reassure the Deputy that the judgment of the European Court confirms that Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution is in conformity with the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court accepted that Article 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court in the X case, provides that it is lawful to terminate a pregnancy in Ireland if it is established as a matter of probability that there is a real and substantial risk to the life, as distinct from the health, of the mother, which can only avoided by a termination of the pregnancy. This has not been altered by the judgment.