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Abort i Sverige och Irland – En jämförelse mellan nationella regler samt en problematisering utifrån Europakonventionen

Hellström, Julia LU (2013) LAGF03 20131
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
I denna uppsats undersöks aborträtten i Sverige och Irland samt innebörden av artiklarna 2, 3, 8, 9 och 10 i Europakonventionen i förhållande till aborter. Syftet är att belysa övergripande likheter och skillnader mellan de svenska och de irländska reglerna och att diskutera hur de nationella reglerna kan förändras, för att stärka olika rättigheter och bättre harmoniera med Europakonventionen. Det huvudsakliga materialet som använts är lagtext, rättspraxis och förarbeten.

Redogörelsen inleds med en presentation av svensk rätt, enligt vilken abort är tillåtet på kvinnans begäran till och med 18:e graviditetsveckan. Därefter är abort möjligt om synnerliga skäl finns, så länge fostret inte är livsdugligt. En graviditet får dock alltid... (More)
I denna uppsats undersöks aborträtten i Sverige och Irland samt innebörden av artiklarna 2, 3, 8, 9 och 10 i Europakonventionen i förhållande till aborter. Syftet är att belysa övergripande likheter och skillnader mellan de svenska och de irländska reglerna och att diskutera hur de nationella reglerna kan förändras, för att stärka olika rättigheter och bättre harmoniera med Europakonventionen. Det huvudsakliga materialet som använts är lagtext, rättspraxis och förarbeten.

Redogörelsen inleds med en presentation av svensk rätt, enligt vilken abort är tillåtet på kvinnans begäran till och med 18:e graviditetsveckan. Därefter är abort möjligt om synnerliga skäl finns, så länge fostret inte är livsdugligt. En graviditet får dock alltid avbrytas, om kvinnans liv eller hälsa allvarligt hotas, varvid livsdugliga foster ska räddas. Den centrala regleringen finns i abortlagen från 1974 och syftar främst till att göra aborter tillgängliga under säkra förhållanden. Vårdpersonal har i Sverige inte rätt att av samvetsskäl vägra utföra aborter, vilket har diskuterats i riksdagen i samband med en resolution från PACE, som Sverige beslutat att motarbeta.

Enligt irländsk rätt är abort i regel straffbart både för kvinnan och för den som hjälper henne. Undantaget, som följer av Supreme Courts dom i Attorney General v. X and Others från 1992, är om det föreligger risk för kvinnans liv som är real and substantial och bara kan avvärjas om graviditeten avslutas. Vidare har kvinnor rätt till objektiv information om avslutande av graviditeter utomlands och rätt till vård och stöd i Irland före och efter ett avslutande. Ett lagförslag har presenterats i Irland under våren 2013, som är tänkt att förtydliga när kvinnor kan få avsluta sin graviditet och hur beslutsprocessen ska gå till.

Det är oklart om foster/ofödda har rätt till liv enligt artikel 2 Europakonventionen, eftersom frågan huvudsakligen faller under staternas margin of appreciation, men kvinnans liv går i vart fall före. Även om kvinnor omfattas av artikel 2 och ska slippa omänsklig eller förnedrande behandling enligt artikel 3, så har främst kvinnors rätt till privatliv enligt artikel 8 prövats i abortsammanhang. De irländska reglerna ansågs bristfälliga i förhållande till artikel 8 i A, B and C v. Ireland, då kvinnor saknar tillgång till en effektiv process för att få sin rätt till abort fastställd. Ett tidigare irländskt förbud mot information om utländska abortmöjligheter har också ansetts strida mot yttrande- och informationsfriheten i artikel 10. Huruvida vårdpersonal utifrån artikel 9 ska ha rätt att av samvetsskäl vägra utföra aborter är inte helt klarlagt.

I den avslutande analysen konstateras att det finns likheter mellan Sverige och Irland, bestående bl.a. i synen på aborter som icke önskvärda, i försöken att hindra internationell påverkan av regleringen och i aborträttens grund i avvägningen mellan kvinnors och fosters/oföddas intressen. Hur avvägningen sker skiljer sig dock åt och foster/ofödda prioriteras högre i Irland än i Sverige. Även om det inte alltid är klarlagt i Europadomstolens praxis vad som krävs i förhållande till olika rättigheter, så finns utrymme för nationella förbättringar. Lagändringar föreslås således för att stärka skyddet av foster/ofödda, främst i Sverige, och för att bättre garantera kvinnor i Irland deras rättigheter. Båda länderna bör också förtydliga vårdpersonals rätt till samvetsvägran vid aborter. Det kan följaktligen konstateras att länderna skulle vinna på att inspireras av varandra. (Less)
Abstract
This essay investigates abortion law in Sweden and Ireland and the meaning of articles 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, in relation to abortions. The aim is to illustrate general similarities and differences between Swedish and Irish abortion law and to discuss how the law might be changed in order to strengthen different rights and to increase its harmonisation with the European Convention. The principal sources employed are legislation, case law and preparatory works.

A presentation of Swedish law opens the survey, declaring that abortions are allowed in Sweden at the request of the woman until the 18th week of pregnancy. After this point, abortion is only permissible when extraordinary reasons require it... (More)
This essay investigates abortion law in Sweden and Ireland and the meaning of articles 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, in relation to abortions. The aim is to illustrate general similarities and differences between Swedish and Irish abortion law and to discuss how the law might be changed in order to strengthen different rights and to increase its harmonisation with the European Convention. The principal sources employed are legislation, case law and preparatory works.

A presentation of Swedish law opens the survey, declaring that abortions are allowed in Sweden at the request of the woman until the 18th week of pregnancy. After this point, abortion is only permissible when extraordinary reasons require it and the foetus is not viable. Where the life or health of the woman is at serious risk, however, her pregnancy may always be terminated, while attempts shall be made to save a viable foetus. The central provisions are found in the Abortion Law of 1974 and chiefly aim at the making available of abortions under safe conditions. The fact that Swedish medical personnel lack a right to refuse performing abortions with reference to their conscience, has been discussed in parliament in relation to a resolution from the PACE, which Sweden has decided to oppose.

According to Irish law, the procurement of an abortion constitutes a criminal offence to which both the woman and her aide may be liable. Following the judgement of the Supreme Court of 1992 in Attorney General v. X and Others, an exception is made, when there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the woman, which can only be averted through the termination of her pregnancy. Further, women are entitled to objective information regarding termination of pregnancies abroad, and have a right to care and counselling in Ireland both before and after a termination. A bill proposing new legislation has been presented in Ireland during the spring of 2013 and is meant to clarify when women are allowed to have their pregnancy terminated and how such a decision shall be met.

It is unclear whether a foetus/an unborn has a right to life under article 2 of the European Convention, since the question mainly falls within the states’ margin of appreciation, but in any event, the life of the woman must prevail. Although women are protected by article 2 and must not be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment according to article 3, women’s right to privacy under article 8 has been the principal object of scrutiny in abortion cases. In A, B and C v. Ireland, Irish law was considered inappropriate in the light of article 8, due to the lack of an efficient process through which women could have their right to abortion established. Additionally, a previous Irish ban on information on abortion services abroad, has been deemed contrary to the freedom of expression and information as guaranteed in article 10. Whether medical personnel shall have a right, in view of article 9, to refuse performing abortions on conscientious grounds, is not certain.

In the closing analysis, similarities are held to exist between Sweden and Ireland, consisting inter alia in the view of abortions as unwanted, in the attempts to prevent international impact on national law and in the foundation of the abortion law, as constituted by the balancing of the interests of the woman and the foetus/the unborn. The result of this balancing differs though, and foetuses/the unborn are more prioritised in Ireland than in Sweden. Even though it is not always clear from the practice of the European Court what requirements pertain to different rights, there is room for national improvements. Legislative changes are thus proposed, in order to strengthen the protection of foetuses/the unborn, particularly in Sweden, and to better affirm the rights of Irish women. It is further recommended that both countries clarify the right of medical personnel to conscientious objection in relation to abortions. It can thus be said that both countries would benefit from turning to each other for inspiration. (Less)
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author
Hellström, Julia LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGF03 20131
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
European Convention on Human Rights, EKMR, Europeiska konventionen om skydd för de mänskliga rättigheterna, Europakonventionen, Ireland, Irland, Sweden, Sverige, abortion, abort, comparative law, komparativ rätt, public international law, Folkrätt
language
Swedish
id
3800407
date added to LUP
2013-09-11 14:11:00
date last changed
2013-09-11 14:11:00
@misc{3800407,
  abstract     = {This essay investigates abortion law in Sweden and Ireland and the meaning of articles 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, in relation to abortions. The aim is to illustrate general similarities and differences between Swedish and Irish abortion law and to discuss how the law might be changed in order to strengthen different rights and to increase its harmonisation with the European Convention. The principal sources employed are legislation, case law and preparatory works.

A presentation of Swedish law opens the survey, declaring that abortions are allowed in Sweden at the request of the woman until the 18th week of pregnancy. After this point, abortion is only permissible when extraordinary reasons require it and the foetus is not viable. Where the life or health of the woman is at serious risk, however, her pregnancy may always be terminated, while attempts shall be made to save a viable foetus. The central provisions are found in the Abortion Law of 1974 and chiefly aim at the making available of abortions under safe conditions. The fact that Swedish medical personnel lack a right to refuse performing abortions with reference to their conscience, has been discussed in parliament in relation to a resolution from the PACE, which Sweden has decided to oppose.

According to Irish law, the procurement of an abortion constitutes a criminal offence to which both the woman and her aide may be liable. Following the judgement of the Supreme Court of 1992 in Attorney General v. X and Others, an exception is made, when there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the woman, which can only be averted through the termination of her pregnancy. Further, women are entitled to objective information regarding termination of pregnancies abroad, and have a right to care and counselling in Ireland both before and after a termination. A bill proposing new legislation has been presented in Ireland during the spring of 2013 and is meant to clarify when women are allowed to have their pregnancy terminated and how such a decision shall be met.

It is unclear whether a foetus/an unborn has a right to life under article 2 of the European Convention, since the question mainly falls within the states’ margin of appreciation, but in any event, the life of the woman must prevail. Although women are protected by article 2 and must not be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment according to article 3, women’s right to privacy under article 8 has been the principal object of scrutiny in abortion cases. In A, B and C v. Ireland, Irish law was considered inappropriate in the light of article 8, due to the lack of an efficient process through which women could have their right to abortion established. Additionally, a previous Irish ban on information on abortion services abroad, has been deemed contrary to the freedom of expression and information as guaranteed in article 10. Whether medical personnel shall have a right, in view of article 9, to refuse performing abortions on conscientious grounds, is not certain.

In the closing analysis, similarities are held to exist between Sweden and Ireland, consisting inter alia in the view of abortions as unwanted, in the attempts to prevent international impact on national law and in the foundation of the abortion law, as constituted by the balancing of the interests of the woman and the foetus/the unborn. The result of this balancing differs though, and foetuses/the unborn are more prioritised in Ireland than in Sweden. Even though it is not always clear from the practice of the European Court what requirements pertain to different rights, there is room for national improvements. Legislative changes are thus proposed, in order to strengthen the protection of foetuses/the unborn, particularly in Sweden, and to better affirm the rights of Irish women. It is further recommended that both countries clarify the right of medical personnel to conscientious objection in relation to abortions. It can thus be said that both countries would benefit from turning to each other for inspiration.},
  author       = {Hellström, Julia},
  keyword      = {European Convention on Human Rights,EKMR,Europeiska konventionen om skydd för de mänskliga rättigheterna,Europakonventionen,Ireland,Irland,Sweden,Sverige,abortion,abort,comparative law,komparativ rätt,public international law,Folkrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Abort i Sverige och Irland – En jämförelse mellan nationella regler samt en problematisering utifrån Europakonventionen},
  year         = {2013},
}