Everybody is talking about the case of the 17-year-old girl who wants to go from Ireland to England, where abortion has been legal since 1967, to have her four month old, brain-damaged fetus aborted. Reports are the fetus will be born with only part of its brain and skull and will die within three days. Abortion is illegal in this predominantly Catholic country and the Irish government is trying to stop her.
The girls lawyer has said, and most people I have talked to, have agreed that requiring the girl to carry the fetus to full term only to watch it die almost immediately would "be most inhumane."
Since March, the girl has been in the care of the Government. She was removed from her mothers care, presumed because her mother also wishes to have her daughter seek the abortion.
Ireland's attorney general has appointed a separate legal team to represent the rights of the unborn child. The attorney generals office says it wants to ensure that the 1983 constitutional ban on abortion is upheld.
This could be a landmark case for Ireland. If she is not allowed to go to England or receive an abortion in Ireland and she is forced to carry full term the baby and watch it die within days, how will that mobilize the Irish people to respond in the future to ensure their woman will have the right to say what happens to their bodies? If the girl is allowed to abort the baby, what kind of precedent will that set for other woman in Ireland to challenge the law of the land? Either way this case is resolved, it could be the beginning of a long battle in Ireland between abortion rights and abortion opponents.