Supreme Court rules against Pro-Life campaign to join case on unborn children 4 years ago

Supreme Court rules against Pro-Life campaign to join case on unborn children

The Supreme Court made the decision on Wednesday afternoon.

The Supreme Court has ruled against the Pro-Life Campaign being able to participate in the forthcoming appeal in relation to the rights of the unborn.

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In the High Court on Wednesday, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys ruled that the unborn was a child within the meaning of Article 42A of the Constitution and thus has rights the State is required to protect and vindicate.

Lawyers representing the Pro-Life group told the court that they wished to be heard in a case on rights of the unborn and joined to the action as an amicus curiae - an assistant to the court on legal issues.

An amicus curiae (literally, "friend of the court") is someone who is not a party to a case and is not solicited by a party, but who assists a court by offering information that bears on the case.

The group's application was opposed by the State, who went on to mention that the case at hand concerns Irish constitutional law and due to the Pro-Life Campaign not being able to bring any legal expertise to the forefront, they do not meet the necessary legalities to join.

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The State has also appealed against a finding made by the High Court back in 2016, that the "unborn" has constitutional rights in addition to the right to life in the Eighth Amendment.

The Pro-Life Campaign press office issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon expressing their disappointment with the result.

"The Pro-Life Campaign has expressed disappointment that its application to be added as an amicus curiae in the Supreme Court case dealing with the rights of unborn children in the Constitution has been denied.

Commenting outside the court after the Supreme Court decision, PLC spokesperson Caroline Simons said: “We are disappointed that the State opposed our application. Our approach is always to ensure that the rights of mothers and the rights of the unborn boy or girl in the womb are protected. The State should have no difficulty with such a position.

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“We accept the Court’s decision but consider that it may be deprived of an important perspective as a result. The Pro-Life Campaign will continue to articulate a generous understanding of the rights of mothers and their unborn children.”