Council of Europe calls for abortion rights
Tuesday, 18 March 2008 17:57
The Council of Europe has called on Ireland to decriminalise abortion.
The Council's Committee on Equal Opportunities says all member states should guarantee women the right to abortion.
The report calls for abortion be decriminalised, saying a ban does not reduce the number of abortions but can lead to more dangerous and clandestine procedures.
The committee says it is concerned about conditions that it says restrict the effective access to safe abortion in member states.
The report recommends that all 47 countries, which make up the Council of Europe, should guarantee women the right to have an abortion and promote cheaper contraception, along with improved sex education, to try to reduce the number of women who seek abortions.
The recommendations will be discussed by the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly next month.
The Chief Executive of the Irish Family Planning Association, Niall Behan, says there has been a big shift in opinion on the issue of abortion in Ireland in the last 20 years.
He said it would take time to achieve a consensus on the issue but that today's report was a step in the right direction.
The pro-life campaign was not available to comment on the report.
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