In case you missed it: A judge of the Irish High Court has ruled that the rights of the unborn extend “well beyond the right to life alone.” Those rights, he added, are “significant” and must be taken seriously by the government.
The ruling by Justice Richard Humphries came in an ongoing case concerning a Nigerian man who had attempted to claim refugee status, after the government initiated deportation proceedings against him. The case was initiated in 2008, but deportation was delayed due to several appeals, and was then subject to judicial review. In the meantime, the man–who is romantically involved with an Irish woman–fathered a child, as yet unborn.
According to the Catholic Herald,
“The rights of the child at this time have an impact on the strength of his case to stay in the country.”
News of the ruling comes at a time when Ireland’s traditional anti-abortion sentiment has been changing. In 2013, Ireland legalized abortion to protect the life of the mother–even if the “risk” is that the pregnant woman might consider suicide.
The Catholic Herald quoted Patrick Buckley, consultant to the Dublin office of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) and a U-N lobbyist, who said,
“The ruling is vitally important at a time when the status of unborn babies in Ireland is once again under grave threat from pro-abortion organisations and the media.”
Pro-abortion activists in Ireland have lobbied for a repeal of the Eighth Amendment, which affirms the right to life of the unborn child. Judge Humphries’ ruling in the deportation case is seen as an obstacle to that campaign.