The State is expected to argue in the High Court today that an unborn baby is not a person. The State will be defending its attempt to deport a pregnant Nigerian woman.
The mother-to-be has been in Ireland for two years. Her application for refugee status was turned down and the Minister for Justice ordered that she be returned to Nigeria.
Her lawyers have taken a case to the High Court in the name of the unborn baby. The woman's legal team say that, if the State wanted to deport the mother, it should have issued a separate deportation order with reference to the unborn child.
Her lawyers have added that, because mortality rates are higher in Nigeria than in Ireland, the constitutional imperative to protect the life of the unborn child should determine that baby O not be deported.
However, according to a report in today's Irish Times, lawyers for the Attorney General and the Justice Minister will today argue that an unborn child is not a person and has no right to a legal personality.