Supreme Court rules against woman in frozen embryo case

The Supreme Court has today unanimously ruled a woman cannot have three frozen embryos implanted against the wishes of her estranged husband.

The five-judge court has also found that the embryos are not protected as 'the unborn' under the Constitution.

The three frozen embryos have been stored in the Sims fertility clinic in Dublin since Mary and Thomas Roche underwent IVF treatment in 2002.

The marriage broke up shortly afterwards but the 43-year-old mother of two wants the three remaining frozen embryos implanted despite the objections of her ex-husband.

In 2006, the High Court rejected her case that the embryos could be classified as the unborn and as such have a constitutional "right to life".

This decision has been upheld on appeal to the Supreme Court which has unanimously ruled that the provisions of Article 40.3.3 deal exclusively with the baby in the mother's womb.

However, the court has found spare embryos ought to be treated with respect and has criticised the Oireachtas for the complete lack of any statutory regulation of fertility treatment in Ireland.

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