by Zoë Pollock
The women’s lawyers had asked the court to take account of the strong trend toward liberalizing European abortion laws, demonstrating, they argued, the existence of a consensus on a matter of international human rights.
The court did take the European consensus into account. But, perversely, it used that fact not on the women’s behalf, but against them, emphasizing Irish women’s ability to travel to any of dozens of countries, with “no legal impediment,” to end their pregnancies. Given that ability, the court concluded, Irish law “struck a fair balance.”