For a long time now, Ireland has been seriously lagging behind the rest of Western Europe in regards to women's and reproductive rights. I'm inclined to believe this seemingly out-of-place oppressive ban in Ireland is probably due to the overwhelmingly Catholic population, but despite their Catholicism, recent polls have shown that the majority of Irish people are pro-choice.
The Irish Family Planning Association has been mighty busy lately, trying to get Ireland out of the repro rights doghouse, so to speak. That fact in itself is perhaps not so noteworthy, although it's fabulous. What I love most about this is their strategy. A strategy which we seriously need to start thinking about here in the U.S. (even if it is currently not so feasible due to the U.S. being a collective jackass).
The IFPA is tackling the abortion ban from a human rights standpoint, arguing that the denial of access to abortion is a violation of the human rights agreement (the European Convention on Human Rights) that the Irish government has signed. They have filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights, which enforces the Convention, arguing the following:
Ireland's restrictive abortion law violates their human rights on four grounds protected by the convention:
"the right to privacy in all family, home and personal interests, and entitlement to no public interference from any public authority in exercising this right;
the right to be free from inhuman or degrading treatment;
the right to protection of the law to safe-guard the life of an individual";
and the provision that affords
"rights and freedoms without discrimination on any grounds.
(via PPFA's choice! magazine)
Too bad the U.S. doesn't really believe in human rights and such....