Ireland: A Case of Blind Justice

Barring a teenage rape victim from seeking an abortion abroad, a court ignites a debate on privacy and the church

It is a classic case of compassion versus the law. And so far, in an abortion controversy that has rocked Ireland and outraged much of Europe, the law has the upper hand. The controversy involves a 14-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by her best friend's father. Last week a high-court judge barred the teenager from traveling to Britain to get an abortion, even though the victim, now 12 weeks pregnant, has declared that she would rather kill herself than have the child.

The decision, which is being appealed to the country's Supreme Court, sparked protests across Ireland and Britain. Hundreds...

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