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The Irish Family Planning Association and an Irish lobbying group, Doctors for Choice, welcomed the verdict.

“[It] leaves no option available to the Irish state other than to legislate for abortion services in cases where a woman’s life is at risk,” said Niall Behan, head of the association.

“Doctors can feel vindicated today. For the first time we can feel confident about discussing abortion as an option for women in medical need without fearing prosecution,” said Dr. Mary Favier, director of Doctors for Choice.

In the 1992 case, a pregnant 14-year-old girl who had been raped by a neighbor successfully sued the government to permit her to travel to England for an abortion. The government tried to stop her, arguing it could not facilitate an illegal act, even though she was threatening to commit suicide.

The Irish Supreme Court ruled that traveling to obtain abortions abroad was legal, and Ireland itself should provide abortions in cases where a continued pregnancy would threaten the life of the woman. Ireland in 1992 passed a law permitting women the right to travel abroad for abortions.