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Pro-life organizations file brief to defend Ireland abortion ban

ADF attorneys represent Family Research Council in brief filed with European Court of Human Rights

WASHINGTON — Three pro-life organizations filed a brief Friday with the European Court of Human Rights in defense of Ireland’s ban on abortion.  In September, the court granted the Family Research Council, represented by Alliance Defense Fund attorneys, the opportunity to defend the ban jointly with two other pro-life organizations.

“No one should be allowed to decide that an innocent life is worthless,” said ADF Chief Counsel Benjamin Bull.  “This case is not only pivotal to Europe; it’s pivotal to America.  With greater frequency, the U.S. Supreme Court has considered what other countries are doing when deciding its own cases.  This case could be the Roe v. Wade of Europe, so its importance should not be underestimated.”

“ADF and FRC are pleased to have participated with other pro-life organizations in this brief,” said Bull.  “Together we seek to defend Ireland’s abortion ban so that scores of pre-born children are guaranteed the protection the Irish people gave them.”

Three women who sought an abortion in Ireland sued under the European Convention on Human Rights to overturn the country’s ban on the practice.  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.

Last month, the court decided to allow FRC and two other pro-life organizations to intervene as defendants in the lawsuit, A, B, & C v. Ireland, and invited them to file a joint brief.  A hearing could occur next year.

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.