Supreme Court case could derail abortion referendum timetable
Ruling on rights of unborn has potential to force Government rethink
Feb 21, 2018
Mary Carolan, Pat Leahy
The Supreme Court will today begin hearing an appeal whose outcome could throw the Government’s plans for an abortion referendum into doubt. Depending on the court’s ruling, the vote could be delayed by months, forcing a fundamental rethink of the proposed wording and approach.
Seven justices will sit this morning to hear the State’s appeal of a High Court decision last summer that ruled for the first time that the unborn has rights in law beyond the constitutionally protected right to life. Lawyers for the State will seek to have the High Court decision overturned. If the State fails in its case, there will be significant implications for the protection of the unborn, not least in relation to the proposed referendum.