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Successive Irish govts have failed to clarify abortion law: Amnesty
Expressing concern over the 'tragic' demise of Savita Halappanavar, the Amnesty International has said that 'it has illustrated a gap in Irish law and policy on the most basic human rights level - that is a woman's right to access abortion where her life is at risk'.

THE INTERNATIONAL human rights organisation felt that this right has already been established as a Constitutional principle by the Irish Supreme Court. Amnesty International also expressed its concern about the lack of clarity as to whether or not a specific legislative framework is required.

It urged the government for the establishment of an investigation into the case of Savita Halappanavar, and to ensure that it be effective and transparent. In a letter written to Irish Minister for Health James Reilly, Amnesty International demanded that the Ireland must ensure that its domestic law and policy on access to abortion is in line with international human rights law.

Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International in Ireland, in a statement, said that International human rights law is clear about the right of a woman to access a safe and legal abortion where her life is at risk. He lamented that successive Irish governments have failed in their duty to provide the necessary clarity on how this right is protected and vindicated, leaving women in Ireland in a very vulnerable position. He said that the government must offer this clarity without further delay.

Marianne Mollmann, senior policy advisor at Amnesty International’s International Secretariat, said that Ireland has been subject to criticism from international human rights bodies for its failure to bring domestic legislation in line with international human rights principles, including a very clear ruling from the European Court of Human Rights.

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