AUL - Important International Abortion Ruling Imminent



WASHINGTON, D.C. (12-16-10) – International abortion-watchers alert: Americans United for Life Sr. Counsel William Saunders reported that this week the European Court of Human Rights will issue a judgment in an abortion case which could create the same kind of chaos caused by Roe v. Wade, the U.S. ruling which replaced abortion laws in the 50 states with the judgment of a handful of judges.

“Even pro-abortion law professors agree that Roe v. Wade was poorly decided,” noted the Harvard-trained attorney. “Today, the nations of Europe – Ireland in particular – could face the same kind of sweeping judicial activism on the issue of abortion that the United States experienced. We could be looking at the Roe v. Wade of Europe and another example of agenda-driven judges forcing their personal views.”

On Thursday, the European Court of Human Rights will announce its decision in the case of ABC v. Ireland.  The case involves abortion and whether the treaty that established the Council of Europe provides for a right to abortion sufficient to override the pro-life provisions of the Irish Constitution.  A, B and C are three unnamed women who claim their right to abortion under the European Convention on Human Rights was denied because of the Irish Constitution. 

Saunders, who is a consultant in the case, noted that it is odd for many reasons and should be dismissed on procedural grounds (failure to file in Ireland). Nevertheless, a serious risk exists that the European Court will continue its expansion of “abortion rights” through judicial activism. For more information, go to

“Since the word ‘abortion’ is not mentioned in the European Convention and since abortion is traditionally left to each nation to decide for itself, any decision by the court that involves a ‘right to abortion’ will be an example of judicial activism. The judges have no legal right to rule on abortion,” said Saunders, who also serves as AUL’s Sr. Vice President.

For interviews or more information on the possibility of a “Roe v. Wade”-style ruling that will sweep across Europe, contact