Abortion Case Decision Due On Wednesday
The High Court has been told that the fetus being carried by a 17-year-old girl who wants an abortion in the UK has the same right to life as any other unborn child, even though it will not survive long after being born.
The girl, known as Miss D, is in the care of the Health Service Executive and is four months pregnant with a child that cannot survive after he or she is born.
The High Court has said it will give its decision on Wednesday afternoon. Earlier, Mr Justice Liam McKechnie said this case was not about people with disabilities and the incontrovertible evidence was that the child would not live.
Senior counsel representing the unborn said the unfortunate physical condition of Miss D’s child was neither here nor there. James Connolly said the Constitution did not allow the court to measure quality or duration of life when deciding whether an unborn child’s right to life should be protected.
Mr Connolly said the State could not facilitate someone going abroad for an abortion if there was no real or substantial risk to their life. But he acknowledged there did not appear to be any law to stop someone in the position of Miss D from ignoring her care order and travelling.
Senior Counsel for the HSE, Gerry Durcan said the HSE now wanted the High Court to quash the district court’s refusal on Saturday to give Miss D permission to travel.
He said in the extraordinary circumstances of this case, the High Court could make a declaration as to whether or not her travel to the UK for an abortion would be lawful.
Mr Justice Liam McKechnie said his decision would have implications and he was extremely conscious of these.