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The Right to Travel for Abortion Services: A Case Study in Irish ‘Cross-border Reproductive Care’

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Abortion is illegal in Ireland, except in very limited circumstances, but the Irish Constitution guarantees the right of women to travel abroad to obtain abortion services. Every year, large numbers of women travel to the uk to obtain abortions. This article argues that this can be regarded as an illustration of cross-border reproductive care (cbrc). cbrc is the phenomenon whereby people travel abroad to obtain assisted reproduction services that are illegal in their country of origin. A leading commentator, Guido Pennings, argues that cbrc is to be welcomed as a means by which society might compromise on issues of profound moral disagreement. Other commentators believe cbrc is highly problematic. This article argues that the Irish abortion example, when examined as an example of cbrc, illustrates both the advantages and disadvantages of cbrc identified by Pennings and his critics.

Affiliations: 1: School of Law, Trinity College DublinIreland


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