A LANDMARK EU court ruling could propel Ireland headlong into the middle of the 19th century.
The European Court of Human Rights said Irish abortion laws were outdated and should be overhauled to allow the phased introduction of gin, a hot bath and a manky old coat hanger.
Under current Irish law an abortion can only be performed if the foetus has tested positive for Satan’s DNA and there have been no sightings of the Virgin Mary and/or Baby Jesus for at least a fortnight.
If Satanic DNA is present then the patient still has to be accompanied by a priest screaming the phrase ‘murdering whore’ into her face from a distance of no more than three inches.
Mary Stephens, an Irish pro-choice campaigner, welcomed the move, adding: “We’re trying to change attitudes, but you have to pitch it just right in terms of the Irish psyche. Our latest idea is a series of cartoons featuring Bertie the Abortion Leprechaun.
“If, after giving it a great deal of thought, you decide to have a termination, then Bertie will grant you a special wish and smooth things over with your favourite saint.”
The ruling could also force Ireland to abandon practices such as flogging the corpses of suicide victims and executing donkeys for having an erection in the presence of a bishop.
But traditionalists have vowed to oppose any attempt to move the country towards a century with four digits.
Mother of 27, Elizabeth Wilson, said: “These laws have served us well. They got us through a series of Meteor Forebodings and give us the powers we need to protect ourselves from albinos.”