Ireland: Abortion - yes or no: In Ireland the debate on abortion legislation has flared up again. The trigger was the death of a woman who was not allowed to terminate. Since then, thousands have taken to the streets to vent their anger against the strict ban on abortion. Twenty years ago the country's highest court decided that terminating a pregnancy was permissible where the life of the pregnant woman was at risk. The European Court of Human Rights has confirmed that judgment. But doctors are still liable to prosecution if they terminate a pregnancy as long as the embryo's heart is beating.