Irish Judge: Unborn Infant Is Clearly a Child

News: Life and Family Print Friendly and PDF
by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  August 5, 2016   

Says the state must protect "all" children "both before and after birth"

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DUBLIN ( - A justice in Ireland's High Court has ruled that an unborn infant is a child with more rights than simply the right to life.

Justice Richard Humphreys affirmed this week that an "unborn" infant is "clearly a child" with rights beyond the right to life, which "must be taken seriously" by the state.

Humphreys made this affirmation in relation to article 42a, entered into Ireland's Constitution last year, which reads, "The State recognizes and affirms the natural and imprescriptible rights of all children and shall, as far as practicable, by its laws protect and vindicate those rights."

Commenting on this article, Humphreys ruled the state must protect "all" children "both before and after birth."

The judge made these determinations in relation to a contested deportation case of a Nigerian man. The man was challenging the deportation order based on the rights of his unborn child he had conceived with an Irish woman. The Nigerian man was seeking a judicial review of the deportation order holding that his unborn child had the right to remain in Ireland.

The government argued that the unborn child's sole right was the right to life. The judge rejected this argument, clarifying that unborn children have "significant" rights under common law and the Constitution "going well beyond the right to life alone." Many of these rights, Humphreys stated, are "actually effective" for the unborn child and not merely potential rights acquired only at birth.

Patrick Buckley from the Dublin office of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) was pleased with the court's decision. "The ruling is vitally important at a time when the status of unborn babies in Ireland is once again under grave threat from pro-abortion organizations and the media."

Buckley was referring to the current attempt by various groups to repeal the Eighth Amendment to Ireland's constitution, which affirms the right to life of the unborn child.

Justice Humphrey ruled in favor of the Nigerian and ordered the government to review his case, claiming the legal consequences flowing from the prospective position of an unborn child with a parent facing deportation must be taken seriously.


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