Woman asks U.N. panel to find Irish abortion ban violates rights

Nov. 14, 2013 at 1:55 AM
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DUBLIN, Ireland, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A woman who went to England for an abortion when the fetus she was carrying was found not to be viable has challenged Ireland's ban with the United Nations.

Amanda Mellett has asked the U.N. Committee on Human Rights to find that the law violates the rights of women in situations like hers, the Irish Independent reported Wednesday. She is getting legal support from the Center for Reproductive Rights and Terminations for Medical Reasons.

Ireland recently passed an abortion law that allows the procedure when continuing a pregnancy would endanger a woman's life. The most controversial part of the law allows abortions for pregnant women believed to be at risk of suicide.

But the law does not cover other situations, including pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest or situations like Mellett's where the fetus is unlikely to survive.

"There is no doubt in my mind being forced to leave Ireland and end my pregnancy of my much wanted baby overshadowed my grief," she said, struggling to keep from crying.

Mellett, who lives in Dublin with her husband, James Burke, got an abortion in Liverpool, England.

Two other women plan to file similar petitions.

"We could be your neighbors, friends and relatives," Mellet said. "What happened to us could happen to any woman."

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