Whether and under which circumstances

There’s a group that’s going to examine the A, B and C v Ireland judgment of the European Court of Human Rights. It was set up as of January 13th this year…so it doesn’t seem to be breaking its neck in the rush to get the job done.

The Expert Group is to report back to Government within six months with options on how to implement the judgment of the European Courts.

The European Court held there is no right for women to an abortion in Ireland, emphasising that there is no straightforward right to an abortion under the Convention, and that member states have a broad margin of appreciation to prohibit abortion.  However, given the violation of applicant C’s right to privacy, the result is that Ireland may have to further clarify whether and under which circumstances an abortion may be performed to save the life of a pregnant woman.

Ireland may have to further clarify whether and under which circumstances an abortion may be performed to save the life of a pregnant woman.

So as of now it’s not clear whether an abortion may be performed to save the life of a pregnant woman?

This is why people are so angry, you see. It’s become unpleasantly clear what that means in practice. It means women actually die because of a protracted miscarriage.

The Expert Group will be chaired by Justice Mr Sean Ryan and consist of the following 13 members:

  • Dr Peter Boylan, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
  • Dr Mary Holohan, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
  • Dr Imelda Ryan, Psychiatrist,
  • Dr Ailish Ni Riain, General Practitioner
  • Dr Mark Walsh, General Practitioner
  • Ms Christine O’Rourke, Office of the Attorney General
  • Ms Mary O’Toole, Senior Counsel
  • Ms Joanelle O’Cleirigh, Solicitor
  • Ms Denise Kirwin, Solicitor
  • Dr. Deirdre Madden, Medical Council
  • Dr Maura Pidgeon, An Bord Altranais
  • Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health
  • Mr Bernard Carey, Assistant Secretary, Department of Health

We’ll have to find out who they all are. We need to know if any are acting for the church.



  1. Beatrice says


    The Life Institute has said that it has “serious concerns”‘ with an expert group on abortion established by the Irish government following revelations that at least three members of group have been linked to abortion advocacy and to a drive to legalise embryo research.

    “Today we got confirmation that a senior counsel who has been appointed to the expert committee – Mary O’Toole – acted to establish a ‘right’ to abortion in the infamous X case in 1992,” said Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute. The X case was used in an attempt to overturn Ireland’s pro-life constitutional provisions and introduce abortion.
    “The government has also appointed Dr Deirdre Madden, a UCC law lecturer, to the group. Madden previously wrote that “there are very strong reasons for believing the embryo is not yet a person. Then the group contains general practitioner Ailish Ní Riain who has written guidelines describing unborn children as ‘contents of the uterus’ and insisting that doctors should assist in referring mothers for abortion.”

    If this is true… yay?

  2. Nepenthe says

    *opens and closes mouth a few times like a goldfish*

    I don’t even… “fuck these motherfuckers” seems woefully inadequate.

  3. mildlymagnificent says

    I think someone’s writing skills are deficient. What they really wanted to say was ….

    how doctors will determine the number of women, and which particular women, must be denied treatment to prevent them from dying due to complications of pregnancy.

    Clear terms of reference are always an advantage.

    If they don’t like this restatement of the purpose of the enquiry, perhaps they need to tell us what it really is.

  4. Rowan says

    Wait, they’re actually gonna let some women on that panel? Don’t they know that old white guys are the only voices that matter when deciding things about women’s bodies?

  5. alysonmiers says

    Yeah. Technically, Ireland allows abortion to save the life of the mother, according to a court decision in 1992. That was the X case, involving a 14-year-old rape victim who was suicidal at the prospect of having her rapist’s baby. The state attempted to prevent her from traveling abroad to get an abortion. (I’m fairly sure I remember reading that she was in foster care, which is how the state would be able to say something about her traveling abroad.) Since then, the population has voted that the state cannot interfere with women going abroad for abortions, but the government hasn’t passed legislation to clarify what constitutes a situation in which a pregnancy endangers the life of the mother, so doctors who might perform abortions don’t know what’s allowed.

    Since they haven’t yet legislated for X, and still have a constitutional ban on abortions in nearly all circumstances, it’s nearly impossible for women with untenable pregnancies to get legal abortions in Ireland. Anyone who can manage a trip to Great Britain can get an abortion there, but Savita didn’t have time for a trip to Britain.

  6. John Morales says


    It was set up as of January 13th this year…so it doesn’t seem to be breaking its neck in the rush to get the job done.

    The Expert Group is to report back to Government within six months with options on how to implement the judgment of the European Courts.

    13/1/2012 + 6 months = 13/7/2012.

    …so it doesn’t seem to be breaking its neck in the rush to get the job done.

    It’s more than a seeming, it’s a fact.

  7. Nathanael says

    Can we, from now on, refer to the anti-abortion activists as “pro-death activists”, since that’s what they are proving themselves to be?

  8. steve84 says

    I’m very pleasantly surprised that there are no theologians on there, but only lawyers and physicians

  9. catwhisperer says

    The other pleasant surprise is that it’s mostly women in this group. It’s as if someone had noticed that it’s mostly women who get pregnant.

  10. Ysanne says

    n. (I’m fairly sure I remember reading that she was in foster care, which is how the state would be able to say something about her traveling abroad.)

    The state found out about her plan to travel abroad in order to get an abortion when her family asked the police if DNA from the aborted foetus would be admissible evidence in court against the rapist… at which point the Attorney General decided that he needed to step in and “advocate the right of that child to be born”. (Whereas the need to advocate the rights of a 14-year-old rape victim apparently did not occur to him.)

  11. Pteryxx says

    Apparently Ireland has a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy about these supposedly available, supposedly legal, medically necessary (but never life-saving) “abortions”:

    This position was also argued by the previous government before the European Court of Human Rights in the case of A, B and C versus Ireland. The government told the court there was nothing at all murky about Ireland’s abortion laws: “The procedure for obtaining a lawful abortion in Ireland was clear. The decision was made, like any other major medical matter, by a patient in consultation with her doctor.”

    But when the court requested basic details, the government was unable to supply them. Asked by the court how many of these “lawful abortions” take place in Ireland every year, the government, as the court put it, “revealed a lack of knowledge on the part of the State as to, inter alia, who carries out lawful abortions in Ireland and where”.

    This is the Irish solution to an Irish problem. Under the X case ruling, it is, as the government’s lawyers pleaded, “lawful to terminate a pregnancy in Ireland if it is established as a matter of probability that there is a real and substantial risk to the life, as distinct from the health, of the mother, which can only be avoided by a termination of the pregnancy”. But this lawful activity is the subject of wilful ignorance. No one in the State officially knows who is carrying out abortions, how many they are performing and which hospitals will or will not perform them. The State’s considered position appears to be: “Ah well, go ahead, but don’t tell us about it.”


    There is, in all of this, not so much a lack of clarity as a refusal of clarity. An acknowledgment of the basic truth that abortion is sometimes necessary to save a woman’s life would make it necessary to be honest and define the how, where, when and why of lawful abortion in Ireland. That in turn would mean giving up on the idea that Ireland is, as Halappanavar’s husband, Praveen, recalled being told, “a Catholic country” – an almost unique place in which the evil of abortion has been kept at bay.


  12. jb says

    I am glad that this information is coming to light. Religious asshats like to say that we should only compare maternal mortality and illegal abortion rates between first world countries. That it is unfair to compare Canada to say, Chile. But hey, look, Ireland has illegal abortion and everything is just nifty!! Yeah, ireland has great stats b/c they fucking LIE and HIDE the truth.

  13. F says

    Wait – we need an expert group for this?

    The only necessity for an expert group would be for it to explain to all the idiots why they don’t have a say in controlling women’s bodies.

    In the meantime, a well-advertised group of sensible and/or pro- women’s rights doctors offering what would be essentially rubber-stamped “Your life is in danger, have an abortion” prescriptions to be filled immediately.

  14. sgailebeairt says

    catholic health association of the US explains how come they have to wait for the infection to start to do anything that might save the mother….


    oh and if you have a ectopic pregnancy where the placenta has popped out of the tube wo killing you and attached it self to your liver or other organs not inside the womb you are out of luck….the only thing the directives let you do is pray….!

  15. sgailebeairt says

    the horrible thing is, i can see where this might have lead them to delay the antibiotics, in the hope that she would get sick enough, that they cld justify an inducton thru double effect…. i still dont think the Directives wld ever allow them to a D&C w a heartbeat….

  16. sgailebeairt says

    “48. In case of extrauterine pregnancy, no intervention is morally licit which constitutes a direct abortion.”

    which refers to this….


    ….think Aliens chestbusters….but sometimes they make it!!


    ….so you have to risk it & let nature take its course & pray that god will do a miracle, one Catholic forum recommended praying to st Gianna for the posters neice!!



    but in india if they catch it in time they just melt it w methyltexrate like youre supposed to do w tubal pregnancies….


    “1. IntroductionAbdominal ectopic pregnancies are extremely rare and account for only 1% of all ectopic pregnancies [1]. The gestational sac of an abdominal pregnancy usually implants in the pelvis or on highly vascular areas such as the liver, spleen, and mesentery [1] and can be associated with excessive maternal morbidity and mortality. The risk of maternal morbidity is 7-8 time greater with an abdominal ectopic pregnancy compared with other ectopic pregnancy locations and 90 times greater than an intrauterine pregnancy [2]. Given the rarity of an abdominal ectopic pregnancy and the potential mortality associated with abdominal pregnancies, early diagnosis and appropriate clinical treatment is essential. We present a unique case of failed systemic methotrexate therapy followed by a successful intralesional methotrexate injection for treatment of an infrahepatic abdominal wall ectopic pregnancy.”

    i guess bc theyre not as ‘eThical” as the catholics!!


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