The United Nations ruled this week Ireland violated a woman’s human rights by preventing her from having an abortion, and took the unprecedented step of ordering the country to change its laws and constitution to ensure women can exercise their “right” to get an abortion.
The woman filed a complaint with the UN human rights commission after Ireland’s strict abortion laws forced her to travel to the United Kingdom to abort a child with fatal defects. The UN human rights committee ruled on the complaint Thursday, finding Ireland subjected the woman to “discrimination and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” in violation of her human rights.
Abortion is illegal in Ireland, except to save the life of the mother.
The UN said Ireland is “obliged” to amend its laws and constitution such that women can get “accessible, timely and effective” abortions in the country, in accordance with the UN covenant Ireland signed, as well as to provide the woman with an “effective remedy.”