On December 16, 2010, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued a ruling that required Ireland to expand the availability of abortion. Three Lithuanian women had argued in the case that their human rights were violated when they were forced to leave Ireland in order to obtain legal abortions in 2005. Prior to this ruling, abortion was legal in Ireland only when the mother's life was at risk. The EHCR declined, however, to recognize an unlimited right to an abortion in Ireland. The November 2012 death of Savita Halappanavar, who was denied access to abortion when it could have saved her life, exemplified Ireland's difficulties in implementing its modified abortion law.
European Court of Human Rights
Learn more about the European Court of Human Rights from the JURIST news archive, and read an overview of Reproductive Rights in Features.