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Michael Perry

Steve, my source, who is also a dear friend--Gerry Whyte, former dean and present professor at Trinity College Dublin Law School--tells me that a health-threatening pregnancy may well include, in the
eventual judgment of the ECtHR, a pregnancy that leaves the woman suicidal. There is a famous Irish abortion case involving a young woman who was suicidal in consequence of her pregnancy. I cant recall the details of the case.

Steve Shiffrin

Michael, very interesting. Any clue whether health threatening would include mental health? And my impression is that legislation distinguishing between stages of pregnancy (permissive in early stages, but stricter in later stages) is common in Europe (at least on the books - not sure enforcement is strict. Is it likely this could influence the latitude of the margin of appreciation?

Michael Perry

Bob, my impeccable Irish sources tell me that it would be *very* surprising if the ECtHR went further than to tell Ireland that it must accomodate women who want to terminate pregnancies that are life-
or health-threatening. Margin of appreciation and all that.I eagerly await the opinion(s).

Robert Hockett

Very interesting indeed, Michael -- many thanks. I wonder, have there been any arguments in this case analogous to those made here in the US, even by pro-choicers, to the effect that prudence might counsel leaving this fraught question to state legislatures? One could imagine Euro-'federalists' advancing such arguments with at least as much zeal as some of their American counterparts.

Thanks again,

Robert Hockett

Many thanks for this, Michael -- very interesting indeed. I wonder whether there have been arguments here that are analogues to those made even by some pro-choicers in the US that it is prudent to leave the question to state legislatures? One could imagine that such arguments might get even more traction in Europe than they did among self-described 'federalists' in the US.

All best,

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