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Society for the Protection of Unborn Children Ireland Ltd. v. Grogan , Case C-159/90, [1991] E.C.R.4685

Facts: the applicant SPUC sued three student organizations publishing the names, addresses and phone numbers of abortion clinics in Great Britain. Relying on the Eight Amendment of the Irish Constitution SPUC claimed a violation of the right to life of the unborn. The student groups argued that their activities were protected under Articles 59 and 60 of the EEC Treaty, which guarantees the right to travel between member states in order to receive services

Holding: the ECJ ruled in favor of the plaintiff and following its decision, the Irish High Court issued a permanent injunction against the student groups.

Reasoning: the Court did not decide the main issue of the legality of abortion but ruled that abortion constituted a "service" within the meaning of Article 60 of the EEC Treaty and thus was not subject to restrictions. However, the Court ruled that it is not contrary to Community law for Ireland to prohibit student groups from distributing information about abortion clinics in member states where the procedure is legal so long as the clinics have no involvement in the activities. Member states are allowed deference to restrict free movement of services for "justified public policy reasons"

 

 

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