Cardinal Claims No Obligation Over Abortion Ruling

The Archbishop of Bishop of Armagh has said yesterday's significant European ruling on abortion does not oblige Ireland to legalise the practise.

Speaking in response to yesterday's judgement, which found that Ireland's law on abortion was in violation of European Human Rights, Cardinal Seán Brady said the Catholic Church teaches that neither the unborn child nor the mother may be deliberately killed.

"The Irish Constitution clearly says that the right to life of the unborn child is equal to that of his or her mother. These are the fundamental human rights at stake.

"The direct destruction of an innocent human life can never be justified, however difficult the circumstances. We are always obliged to act with respect for the inherent right to life of both the mother and the unborn child in the mother’s womb. No law which subordinates the rights of any human being to those of other human beings can be regarded as a just law."

The European Court of Human Rights yesterday found the Irish Republic was in violation of the rights of a woman with cancer who travelled to the UK for an abortion.

It is thought that the ruling in Strasbourg could require a change to Irish law.

The Court ruled that Ireland failed to properly implement the European constitutional right to abortion where a woman is entitled to one when her life is at risk.

In complete contradiction of the Cardinal, Health Minister Mary Harney said today that the Government would "have to" legislate on the issue of abortion in the wake of the judgement.

Speaking this morning, Health Minister Mary Harney said the Government “will have to come forward with proposals but it will take time”.

The Minister said the issue was a “highly complex area” but she said the ruling of the court was a “binding judgement”.

Labour's Spokesperson on Health Jan O'Sullivan said yesterday there was now an obligation on all parties in the Oireachtas to face up to the implications of the ruling.


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