School of Law

Dr Ruth Fletcher comments on possible referendum on Ireland's abortion laws

23 November 2016

This week a citizens' assembly will meet in Dublin to take the first step towards a referendum on the contentious issue of abortion, according to an article in ABC News. In almost all circumstances, abortion is a criminal offence in Ireland but the government passed a law in 2013 allowing it where pregnancy endangers a woman's life. Dr Ruth Fletcher, Senior Lecturer in Medical Law at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), said a series of civil society groups have challenged the law's restrictiveness since it came into force. "We've had a series of controversies, particularly over women and couples who have to travel for abortion, where the pregnancies have been diagnosed with serious foetal abnormalities, including fatal foetal abnormalities."