10 May 2007
Irish teenager wins right to abortion
A pregnant Irish teenager has won the right to travel to Britain for an abortion after a landmark case in Dublin's High Court.
Prior to the ruling the girl, 17, who is four months pregnant with a child diagnosed with brain condition anencephaly, had been forbidden to undertake the operation under the terms of regulations in Ireland, where abortion is illegal unless the mother's life is endangered.
The condition prevents full development of the brain and would have meant the child would die within a few days of its birth.
The Irish government appointed a lawyer to represent the child on the grounds that irrespective of doctors' predictions, the baby was still entitled to be protected.
However, the girl's counsel argued successfully that the case was not concerned with abortion but with her right to travel, prompting High Court Justice Liam McKechnie to rule that there was nothing in the law to prevent her from travelling to undergo the operation.
Owing to regulations, the girl cannot be named and was known throughout the case as Miss D.