In January 2010, Ms. Whelan was informed by her doctors in Ireland that her pregnancy involved a fatal fetal anomaly and that the fetus would die in utero or soon after birth. Upon hearing this news, Ms. Whelan was grief-stricken and decided that she could not continue with the pregnancy. However, as a result of Irish law, which prohibits abortion in all situations except where a woman’s life is at risk, she was informed that her only option in Ireland was to continue her pregnancy to term. As a result, Ms. Whelan made arrangements and travelled out of Ireland at her own expense to a hospital in the United Kingdom where she obtained an abortion. In April 2014, Ms. Whelan filed an individual complaint to the Human Rights Committee, under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, claiming Ireland’s prohibition and criminalization of abortion had violated her rights under Articles 7 (right to freedom from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment), 17 (right to privacy) and 26 (right to equality before the law) of the Covenant.