Abortion and Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights
The IUP Journal of Environmental & Healthcare Law, Vol. 9, Nos. 1 & 2, pp. 10-18, January & April 2010
Posted: 10 Apr 2010
Date Written: April 7, 2010
Contrary to claims made by some human rights organizations, there is no such thing as a ‘right to abortion.’ In fact, abortion is always a grave evil. Although the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)does not contain an explicit article on abortion, it contains no legal basis for a right to abortion. To the contrary, a careful reading of the Convention reveals that the unborn child’s right to life is paramount. Unfortunately, this legal situation has not yet been fully recognized and the states are currently given a margin of appreciation which goes far beyond what is permissible under the European Convention on Human Rights. The current margin of appreciation enjoyed by states in the context of Article 2(1) ECHR is not only dogmatically unsound but also fails to differentiate properly between the scope of the norm and justifications for interferences with the right which is protected by the norm. The currently prevailing interpretation of Article 2(1) ECHR is wrong and leads to numerous human rights violations of the gravest order. It is, therefore, necessary for the parties (states) to the Convention to change their domestic laws accordingly and to outlaw all abortions which are not necessary to save the life of the mother.
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