Newstalk
Newstalk

13.23 30 Oct 2016


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The lawyer representing a woman who took a case to the United Nations over Ireland's abortion laws, says the case will only be settled when the Irish government undertakes the necessary reforms.

Amanda Mellet took a case to the UN's Human Rights Committee, after she travelled to the UK for an abortion after her baby was diagnosed with a fatal foetal abnormality in 2011.

In June of this year, the committee found that Ms Mellet suffered discrimination and anguish over the fact that she had no other option than to travel to the UK for a termination.

The Citizens' Assembly is due to meet next month to discuss the prospect of a referendum to change the laws on abortion.

Ms Mellet's lawyer Leah Hoctor, who's the Regional Director for Europe at the Center for Reproductive Rights, says although the Irish Government has acknowledged the UN's ruling it hasn't yet taken the necessary steps to comply with the recommendations.

"The Committee held that Ireland is obliged under international law to make full reparations to Amanda for the violations she suffered," she said. "This means that it must remedy those violations, it must pay compensation ... And it must undertake law reform measures to ensure non-repetition of the violations Amanda endured."

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar defended the work of the Citizen's Assembly, following the government's Dáil vote win to stop an opposition bill which would have led to a referendum on the 8th amendment.

TDs voted 96 to 47 in favour of the so-called "reasoned amendment" which stopped a vote on the bill itself.

Fianna Fáil offered its 43 TDs a free vote, but only five of its deputies wanted the bill to proceed.


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