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Abortion ban 'breached rights'

A woman living in Ireland who travelled overseas to terminate a pregnancy while in remission from cancer had her human rights violated because of the abortion ban, European judges have ruled

The Lithuanian woman was one of three unnamed women from Ireland fighting a landmark legal battle to have abortion laws overturned.

The other two had their case dismissed by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The women, known only as A, B and C, took a case against the Irish government claiming restrictions on abortion stigmatised and humiliated them, and risked damaging their health.

The third applicant, the only successful one, claimed her life had been put at risk by being forced to travel to England for the procedure.

The court was told she was worried her pregnancy would cause a relapse of cancer. She also said she was concerned about a risk to the foetus if she carried to full term and claimed she could not obtain clear advice on the subject.

Abortion is only allowed in Ireland if there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the expectant mother.

Despite referenda and court rulings on the issue since the early 1980s, governments have not enacted legislation regulating the constitutionally guaranteed right.

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