ADF to defend Irish abortion ban

ADF attorneys will represent Family Research Council before European Court of Human Rights
Monday, September 22, 2008

WASHINGTON — The European Court of Human Rights has granted the Family Research Council, represented by Alliance Defense Fund attorneys, the opportunity to defend Ireland’s ban on abortion.

“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.”

Three women who sought an abortion in Ireland sued under the European Convention on Human Rights to overturn the country’s ban on the practice.  The three, who ultimately obtained abortions in Britain, are fighting to establish a “right” to abortion in Ireland.  Currently, abortions are permitted in Ireland only when it is necessary to save the life of the mother.  The women are also seeking a precedent that would open the door to abortion as a right in most of Europe under the European Convention on Human Rights.

The European Court of Human Rights granted review of the case, A, B, & C v. Ireland.  The court decided to allow FRC and two other pro-life organizations to intervene as defendants in the lawsuit and asked them to file a joint brief defending their position.  A hearing could occur next year.

“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 remained protected in Ireland.”

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.