Center for Reproductive Rights Fact Sheet on Mellet v. Ireland decision by UN Human Rights Committee
Center for Reproductive Rights’ recently published a Fact Sheet on the groundbreaking decision by the United Nations Human Rights Committee in the case of Mellet v. Ireland.
In its ruling the Human Rights Committee held that by prohibiting and criminalizing abortion, and thereby preventing Ms. Mellet from accessing abortion services in Ireland, the state subjected her to severe emotional and mental pain and suffering.
As a result, Ireland violated her rights to freedom from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, privacy, and equality before the law.
The Committee’s ruling provides landmark recognition of the degree to which Ireland’s abortion laws harm women’s mental and emotional wellbeing. The ruling represents the first unequivocal condemnation by an international legal authority, in response to an individual complaint, of the country’s prohibition and criminalization of abortion. It provides critical confirmation of the acute impact that preventing women who have decided to end a pregnancy from doing so in their own country can have on their mental health. In addition, the decision marks the first time that, in dealing with an individual complaint, any international court or committee has explicitly held that criminalizing and prohibiting abortion violates international human rights law. The Committee’s decision clearly affirms that domestic laws that prohibit abortion can cause women severe suffering and undermine their personal integrity and autonomy.
The Center’s Fact Sheet highlights key aspects of this important decision and I hope you will find it to be a useful resource.