UN Successfully Makes Government Pay For Woman’s Abortion

Grace Carr | Reporter

The UN successfully ordered the Irish government to pay a woman about $34,000 and provide her with psychological treatment because she traveled from Ireland, where abortion is illegal, to the U.K. for the procedure.

The Irish government has paid Siobhan Whelan after the UN Human Rights Committee ruled in June that Ireland’s abortion laws violated her “rights,” according to RTE News. The committee argued it was unconstitutional to prevent her from having an abortion in Ireland given the fact that her unborn baby had a fatal fetal impairment.

“I am very glad the Government has now taken steps to acknowledge the Committee’s decision by providing reparations to me and I am grateful for this recognition,” Whelan said, according to RTE. “However, for me, the most important aspect of the Government’s obligation is to ensure law reform so that other women no longer have to suffer in this way.”

Whelan is the second woman to receive compensation from the Irish government, which also paid Amanda Mellet about $34,000 after the UN Human Rights Committee ruled similarly that Ireland had subjected her to “discrimination and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” due to the country’s pro-life laws in 2016. (Related: Irish Government To Compensate Woman For Abortion).

Ireland will hold a vote in 2018 to possibly change its law that currently bans and criminalizes abortions in the country, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced in September, according to CNN.

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Tags : ireland united nations human rights council
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