The Religious Right Goes International

Back in July, it was announced that the European Court of Human Rights was going to be taking up the issue relating to Ireland and the right to choose:

The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) has today (28/07/08) confirmed that a case to challenge the current status quo on abortion – which it is supporting – has been accepted for consideration by the European Court of Human Rights.

The case, involving three women living in Ireland who travelled abroad for abortion services, was lodged in August 2005 with the Court.

The case centres around four Articles of the European Convention on Human Rights. These include Article 8 with regard to the right of privacy in all family, home and personal interests, and entitlement to no public interference from any public authority in exercising this right; Article 3, which protects individuals from ‘inhuman or degrading treatment’; Article 2, which affords protection of the law to safeguard the life of an individual, and Article 14 which affords rights and freedoms without discrimination on any grounds.

According to an article that ran around that same time: “The three women, who said their rights were denied by being forced to seek terminations outside the State, are taking the case in Strasbourg … the three females involved include a woman who ran the risk of a pregnancy developing outside the womb, a woman who had chemotherapy for cancer and a woman who had her children placed in care.”

Though the case seems to have garnered little attention here in the United States, anti-abortion activists have been paying close attention to it and now it looks like two big-name Religious Right groups will be heading across the pond in order to defend Ireland’s restrictive laws in a case they are billing as “the Roe v. Wade of Europe”:

The Family Research Council announced today that that the European Court of Human Rights has granted permission for the organization to defend Ireland’s ban on the practice of abortion. FRC will be represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and organizations.

“Family Research Council is proud to be working with the Alliance Defense Fund in this important battle,” said Bill Saunders, FRC’s Human Rights Counsel and Senior Fellow of the Center for Human Life and Bioethics, “Ireland has wisely chosen to protect its most vulnerable citizens and we will work tirelessly to ensure that unborn children remain protected in Ireland.”

“No one should be allowed to decide that an innocent life is worthless.  ADF and FRC are looking forward to defending Ireland’s abortion ban so that scores of pre-born children are guaranteed the protection the Irish people gave them,” said ADF Chief Counsel Benjamin Bull.  “This case is not only pivotal to Europe; it’s pivotal to America.  With greater frequency, the U.S. Supreme Court looks across the ocean to see what other countries are doing when considering its own cases.  This case could be the Roe v. Wade of Europe.”