Judgement could have implications for planned abortion referendum

The Supreme Court will this morning hand down a judgment on the rights of the unborn.

They've been tasked with considering a High Court ruling that could have implications for the planned abortion referendum.

This relates to an immigration case in which a Nigerian man tried to fight his deportation by saying his child was due to be born shortly, and that child would have the full rights of an Irish citizen.

In the Supreme Court appeal it was argued the unborn child had rights, including the right to have both parents there when it was born.

The state refutes this saying the only right the unborn has is the right to life, which is contained in the 8th amendment.

If the Supreme Court upholds the High Court ruling, it may mean repealing the 8th wouldn't be enough to allow the government to bring in new abortion laws.

If the court overturns the previous ruling the government plans to hold a special cabinet meeting tomorrow or even as early as this evening to approve the referendum bill, which will officially call a vote on abortion.

We'll also likely learn then the draft laws that the government would attempt to bring in if the 8th amendment were repealed.

The Supreme Court judgment is due at 10.30 am in Limerick.