The Applicants were Irish organizations and medical professionals that provided counseling and information to pregnant women as well and two women of childbearing age. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children brought an action against the organizations in the Irish High Court claiming that by providing pregnant women with information about where they could access legal abortion care in another country, the applicants were acting unlawfully under Irish laws on abortion which protected the “right to life of the unborn” and prohibited abortion in all situations except where there was a risk to the life of a pregnant woman. The High Court upheld the claim and granted an injunction, restraining the applicant companies from providing information on abortion services in foreign countries to pregnant women in Ireland.

The applicants filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights alleging that the injunction constituted an unjustified interference with their right to impart or receive information under article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). They also claimed that the restrictions amounted to an interference with their rights to respect for private life, in breach of article 8.