Criticism over new RoI abortion laws

Published Monday, 18 August 2014
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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 News
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15 Comments
Tyrone in Tyrone wrote (101 days ago):
Why are comments regarding gods gift of life is sacred bla bla bla allowed to be printed but when i comment stating that the religon and abortion connection is not only morally wrong but should have no bearing on any decision regarding this medical procedure, this is not posted??? Has ireland now ruled out the right of freedom of opinion now also, or is that just when the opinion suits whoever is moderating it??
Appalled in Belfast wrote (102 days ago):
Norman, I take it from your name that you're a woman who understands what it's like to go through a rape, and not a man who doesn't have to suffer the lifelong consequences, guilt and feelings of shame and fear. To carry a child for 9 months, reliving every second of the ordeal day in day out, because some religious fundamentalists say you must. And what about the child - when they find out, as they inevitably will, that their father was a rapist ?? It's all very well sitting commenting on something through religion tinted specs when you will never experience what this woman goes through. Shame on anyone with your reprehensible views on situations like this. If we go any further backwards we'll become as Arab countries where women who are raped are guilty of sex outside marriage.
culchy in the stix wrote (102 days ago):
@Norman D, your life may be a gift, but for most of us it's a struggle to survive in a lonely, hostile planet. For the record though, I believe it should be legal in Northern Ireland, which would save 5000 women travelling to England every year.
Miss T in No longer in Ireland wrote (102 days ago):
When will religon and abortion be seperated in northern ireland?? You will always have your pro life gang forever shouting reasons as to why Abortion is wrong but not answering questions regarding the life and wellbeing of the woman. Its about time people realised abortion is one issue and keep religious rubbish and opinions out of it and let it be what is is, a medical issue and Allow doctors to deal with it!
Colin in South Down wrote (102 days ago):
Blessed be God for both mum and baby. The precious life of the mother and baby saved. Katie, do some research on babies conceived in rape such as Rebecca Kiessling or Valerie Gatto, Miss Pennsylvania 2014, and tell them and the countless others that their lives are not worth it and they are disposable. We have laws protecting the life of the rapist yet, quick to impose death on the innocent child.
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