Skip to content

Importance of Europe’s ‘Roe v. Wade’ case grows exponentially with elevation in status

ADF attorneys represent Family Research Council in landmark abortion case

STRASBOURG, France — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys defending legal protections for pre-born children in Ireland at the European Court of Human Rights say the importance of the case has grown exponentially with the court’s decision to move the case to its Grand Chamber. Cases decided in the Grand Chamber are binding on all lower chambers and on all member states.  A decision in the case will set an official policy on the issue for Europe.

“No one should be allowed to decide that an innocent life is worthless. Ireland’s constitutional amendment defending innocent life is under attack, and now the stakes have just gotten higher,” said ADF Legal Counsel Roger Kiska, who is based in Europe. “With the case moving to the Grand Chamber, the ramifications of the decision that is eventually reached in the case are massive.”

“The case is not only pivotal to Europe; it is pivotal to America as well,” Kiska added. “With ever-greater frequency, American courts have considered what other countries are doing when deciding their own cases. This case could be the Roe v. Wade of Europe, so its importance should not be underestimated.”

In the suit, A v. Ireland, which the court announced Wednesday was being moved up from a lower chamber of the court, ADF attorneys are defending the Ireland policy on behalf of the Family Research Council. ADF and FRC filed a joint brief in November 2008 along with two other pro-life organizations at the court’s request after it allowed the groups to intervene as defendants in the case.

Three women who sought an abortion in Ireland sued under the European Convention on Human Rights to overturn the country’s legal protections for pre-born children. The three, who ultimately obtained abortions in Britain, are fighting to establish a “right” to abortion in Ireland. Currently, abortions are permitted in Ireland only when it is necessary to save the life of the mother. The women are also seeking a precedent that would open the door to abortion as a right in most of Europe under the European Convention on Human Rights.

“This case could mean the difference between life and death for countless pre-born children who have been guaranteed protection under the Constitution of Ireland,” said Kiska. “For countless nations, life is in the balance for an untold number of pre-born children in the future.”

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.