Ireland: ‘Unborn child’ has significant legal rights, judge rules

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A High Court judge has said the word ‘unborn’ in the Constitution means an ‘unborn child’ with rights beyond the right to life.

High Court justice finds the rights of the ‘unborn’ extend beyond the right to life

Tue, Aug 2, 2016, 01:00

by Mary Carolan

A High Court judge has said the word “unborn” in the Constitution means an “unborn child” with rights beyond the right to life, which “must be taken seriously” by the State.

The unborn child, including the unborn child of a parent facing deportation, enjoys “significant” rights and legal position at common law, by statute, and under the Constitution, “going well beyond the right to life alone”, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys said.

Many of those rights were “actually effective” rather than merely prospective.

He said article 42a of the Constitution, inserted as a result of the 2012 Children’s Referendum, provides the State must protect “all” children.

Because an “unborn” is “clearly a child”, article 42a means all children “both before and after birth”.

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Source: Irish Times