Abortion Legislation and the Role of the Media Essay

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Abortion Legislation and the Role of the Media By: Fernando Rodriguez 1,212 words. Abortion is the most controversial issue of public policy in the Western Societies from the late 20th century and the Republic of Ireland is not an exception. Since the independence of the Republic of Ireland from the UK in 1922, Offences against the Person Act 1861 remained in the constitution, maintaining all abortions to be illegal and subject to punishment, however the law allows a medical procedure if the mothers life is at a risk. In 1983 a referendum was passed as a constitutional Amendment to protect and acknowledge the right of life of the unborn child. However, in the last three decades different cases have requested to the state for exceptions in the legislation. These requests have included individual cases and also the European Convention for the protection of Human Rights (ECHR). The ECHR was signed after the Second World War by most of the states in Europe including non-EU states. The ECHR is an entirely different body to the European Court of Justice; however, abortion activists have used the ECHR as a judgement in favour of abortion to put pressure on the government to comply with the ECHR judgements. In 1988 in a case called Norris, was found that the Irish law was against the convention because the ECHR found that the Irish laws were against the homosexual public behaviour and violated the right of privacy from the convention. Some of the most controversial individual requests are the X-case and the ABC v Ireland case. The X-case judgement was requesting that a 14-year-old rape victim could travel to England for an abortion. In 1992 the referendum passed and the amendment allowed travelling outside the state to have an abortion. However, the referendum didn’t pass to allow abortion if there was a risk of mental health harm and suicide after the rape. In

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