Irish High Court judge rules: ‘Unborn’ is ‘clearly a child’ with ‘significant’ rights
DUBLIN, Ireland, August 4, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — An Irish High Court judge has ruled that unborn children have all the rights of “born” children under the Irish constitution and law.
Justice Richard Humphries made the ruling during a tangled deportation case made more complex by the unborn child fathered by the Nigerian man whom the Irish government is seeking to expel.
“The ruling is vitally important at a time when the status of unborn babies in Ireland is once again under grave threat from pro-abortion organizations and the media,” Patrick Buckley of the Dublin office of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said.
The state secured a deportation order in 2008, but the Nigerian, who was claiming refugee status, delayed implementation with various appeals and then sought a judicial review of the original order on the basis of having fathered the child, unborn at the time of his application, by an Irish woman with whom he is still partnered.
The Nigerian wanted the child to be factored into the request for a judicial hearing because the baby’s rights would strengthen his case to stay in the country. But the government resisted on the grounds the child was unborn and had only one right — to be born.
Humphries ruled differently, stating that the controversial Eighth Amendment to the constitution protecting “the unborn” meant that an “unborn child” was a child whose full rights under the constitution once born “must be taken seriously.” These rights under both statutory and common law were “significant” and went “well beyond the right to life alone.”
The Irish government, the judge found, had a duty to consider the best interests of the Nigerian’s unborn child while deliberating on his deportation. The judge, therefore, ordered the government to give the case a judicial review.
The ruling comes at a crucial time. A foreign-funded drive to repeal the Eighth Amendment has led the government to create a Citizens Conference on loosening Ireland’s abortion restrictions, which, under the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Act 2013, is permitted only to save the life of the mother but includes the risk of suicide as a threat to her life.
“In the light of the High Court’s ruling, we call upon the Government to move to repeal the pro-abortion Protection of Life during Pregnancy Act 2013,” SPUC’s Buckley said, “and to oppose any moves to repeal the Eighth Amendment. The killing of unborn children is both unconstitutional and unethical and therefore must not be allowed in Ireland.”