The International Humanist & Ethical Union and the European Humanist Federation strongly condemn the ruling of the Dublin High Court on 17th February granting an injunction to prevent a pregnant 14 year old rape victim from travelling to another country to obtain an abortion. We strongly urge the Irish Supreme court to squash the injunction.
Humanists value individual liberty, the right to self-determination, and the human rights which flow from these principles, as indispensable to the quality of life and to a democratic society.
Abortion is undesirable but must be legally available. Throughout history unwanted pregnancy has generated a demand for abortion. Legal prohibition has always resulted not in prevention but in “back-street” operations accompanied by much guilt and suffering and with high probability of injury and death to the woman. That fate in Ireland, despite the present Constitution, has been largely avoided by the availability of abortion via travel to England or another European state. Removal of the freedom to travel to obtain abortion will increase crime in Irish society and greatly increase suffering by the unfortunate women who have an unwanted pregnancy.
This painful case makes it only more urgent for the Irish Parliament to reconsider its position on that matter.
Joint press statement with European Humanist Federation – February 1992
'The abortion issue in Ireland', Humanists International, Board of Directors, 1992