Amanda Mellet, a 38-year-old Irishwoman, is filing a petition with the United Nations Human Rights Committee to challenge her country’s ban on abortion. In Ireland, a predominantly Catholic country, abortion only recently became legal if it is necessary to save the mother’s life. In November 2011, a pregnant Mellet was devastated to find out that her fetus had Edward’s system, a fatal abnormality that causes mutations to the heart and other organs.
She was told that her daughter may not survive the pregnancy, and that if she did, she’d die shortly after birth. If Mellet carried her to term, she wouldn’t know until delivery whether she was even still alive. She and her husband decided that terminating the pregnancy was the most humane thing to do for her child, who, if born alive, would spend her only few hours on earth in a hopeless struggle for survival.
Her doctors, however, were legally unable to perform the abortion. Keep reading »