The state is appealing against a High Court finding

A Supreme Court case gets underway today to decide the extent of the constitutional rights of the unborn.

The State is appealing against a High Court finding that the word 'unborn' in the constitution means 'child' - giving babies in the womb protection beyond the 8th Amendment.

The ruling arose out of the case of a Nigerian man facing deportation while his partner was pregnant in Ireland.

He successfully argued his unborn child had the right to have its father stay in the country - despite not yet being born.