Ireland – The European Union’s Court ruled that the Irish abortion ban breached the human rights of a specific woman in a specific instance. The decision is already being dubbed the “Roe v. Wade of Europe.” Three women brought a joint motion against the Irish law – one was a recovering alcoholic who wanted an abortion because she was afraid a new child would limit her chances of regaining custody of her other children; one woman was afraid to be a single mother; the third woman had a rare form of cancer which a) could have come back due to the pregnancy and b) her cancer treatments could have had an impact on the unborn child. The European Human Rights Court only ruled in favor of the third woman, not the first two, regarding the Irish law. The judgement said, “The court considered that the establishment of any such risk to her life clearly concerned fundamental values and essential aspects of her right to respect for her private life.” Irish law will now need to change to reflect this ruling.
Canada – Canadian Parliament voted down a bill which would have made it illegal to coerce a woman into getting an abortion. The bill failed by a margin of 178 against to 97 in favor. The Conservative Party leadership actually opposed the bill on the grounds that they felt that this was already the law and that this specific legislation was unnecessary. Heritage Minister James Moore said, “I just think it’s legally unnecessary…Those protections already exist in the criminal code. That was the justice minister’s assessment and I agree with him.”
Wisconsin – In Madison, Wisconsin, a new surgery center was supposed to be offering late-term abortions. That has changed. Originally, the new center was planning to perform late term abortions and had even approved plans last year to that effect. Pro-life groups in Wisconsin fought the plan and can take this as a minor victory that they have scrapped the proposal. That said, the UW Medical system says, “…it remains committed to providing the procedure [abortion] eventually.”