Vo. v. France (European Court of Human Rights)


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Filing date: November 26, 2003

Country/Region: France

Center Attorney(s): Christina Zampas

Summary: In November 2003, the Center filed an amicus brief with the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Vo v. France. The case arose from an incident involving a French doctor who mistakenly ruptured a pregnant woman’s amniotic sac when he mistook her for another patient who was not pregnant. The Center's brief argued that the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms did not protect the rights of an unborn fetus. It further argued that recognizing an unborn fetus's right to life would threaten women’s human rights by permitting a government to privilege the rights of a fetus over those of a pregnant woman. The ECHR issued a decision in July 2004, in which it declined to recognize a fetus as a person under the European Convention.