Criticism over new RoI abortion laws

Criticism over new RoI abortion laws

Both anti-abortion and pro-choice groups have strongly criticised the Republic of Ireland's laws on terminations, after weekend reports about a suicidal woman who was refused an abortion.

The young woman, said to be a rape victim deemed by a panel of experts to be a suicide risk, has accused doctors of denying her an abortion until the baby could be delivered by caesarean section.Under the Republic's Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013, a woman has the right to an abortion if her life is at risk - including from suicide.Members of the pro-choice movement are now set to hold a demonstration in Dublin on Wednesday, to protest over the woman's treatment.The treatment of this woman at the hands of the state has been deplorable.Choice Ireland"This case has shown that the law is not fit for purpose," Stephanie Lord, from Choice Ireland, said."We are calling on people to take to the streets on Wednesday evening at 6pm to show the government that denying women basic human rights is unacceptable."She added: "Choice Ireland pointed to potential difficulties like this when the legislation was being drafted and this will not be the last case where a woman seeking an abortion to save her life makes the headlines while this legislation remains on the statute books."We are calling for a referendum to repeal the 8th amendment so that women can avail of the healthcare and medical treatments that they need."While pro-choice campaigners feel that the woman at the centre of the latest controversial case should have been granted a termination, anti-abortion groups have spoken out against the way in which the baby was eventually delivered via c-section at 25 weeks.Abortion is not a treatment for suicidal feelings, yet the Government pressed ahead and railroaded through legislation.Pro Life Campaign"To induce a pregnancy at such an early stage inevitably puts the baby at risk of serious harm, such as brain damage, blindness, or even death," Dr Ruth Cullen, from Pro Life Campaign, said."To put a defenceless baby through all this, and to pretend the intervention is medically indicated when it is known that there is no evidence to back it up, is a chilling aberration of law and medicine."The fact that the panel could just as easily have sanctioned an abortion in this case also brings home everything that is wrong about the new law."The new laws were drawn up following the death of Savita Halappanavar, an Indian dentist who was denied an abortion as she miscarried at 17 weeks pregnant in a Galway hospital in October 2012.

© UTV

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