Irish judge upholds broad rights for the unborn

Life | Judge asserts right of unborn babies to have intact families
by Bob Brown
Posted 8/08/16, 01:49 pm

Maintaining strong pro-life statutes in spite of mounting pressure from European neighbors, an Irish judge ruled earlier this month an unborn child’s privileges extend beyond just having the right to life.

The case involved a Nigerian man who had been fighting a deportation order since 2008. In July 2015, he sought a review of the order, claiming that the rights of his unborn child (who was born the following month), conceived with an Irish partner, bolstered his case to stay in Ireland.

Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution of Ireland “acknowledges the right to life of the unborn,” government lawyers agreed. But, hoping to expel the unnamed Nigerian man, they argued unborn children had no other rights than life. In his decision last week, High Court justice Richard Humphreys disagreed, declaring that Article 42a requires the state to provide additional protections and benefits for “all children.”

A baby in the womb is “clearly a child,” Humphreys said, according to The Irish Times, and the state must protect the rights of “children both before and after birth.” Those rights include keeping the family unit intact, even if the child’s parents are not legally married.

The decision maintains a streak of government defenses of Ireland’s unborn children. Last month, the Irish Parliament 95–45 against the Fatal Fetal Abnormalities Bill, which would have allowed abortions in cases where a child had a “life-limiting” condition.

Ireland’s bold posture stands in sharp contrast to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who, if elected, would likely nominate pro-abortion Supreme Court justices. In April on Meet the Press, the grandmother and former secretary of state denied unborn girls and boys have constitutional rights.

Bob Brown

Bob is a graduate of the WORLD Journalism Institute’s mid-career course.

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