A Young Woman In Ireland Was Denied An Abortion And Forced To Give Birth By C-Section At 25 Weeks

So much for last year's 'reformed' Irish abortion laws


by Fiona Byrne |
Published on

Pro-life authorities in Ireland have sank to new lows under its ‘reformed’ abortion laws, with the news that a suicidal young woman was denied an abortion at eight weeks and forced to give birth by caesarean section around 25 weeks into the pregnancy.

The 2013 reform law is supposed to give women in Ireland access to abortions under certain circumstances, including suicidal thoughts if the pregnancy occurred as a result of incest, rape or if the woman’s life is in danger if she carries the baby to term.

The woman, who is an immigrant with limited English, was denied the termination despite admitting that she was suicidal. After she was refused permission to have the abortion, she went on hunger strike and local authorities obtained an order to forcibly deliver the baby via caesarean section at just 25 weeks or so, using the argument that the baby’s life was in danger. The level of emotional trauma inflicted on this young woman is just beyond comprehension.

And another thing, we’re not quite sure how forcibly delivering a baby at 25 weeks is ensuring its safety. The baby has a 20-30% chance of requiring specialised care following its period in intensive care, after which it will likely remain in state care because it was not wanted by its mother in the first place.

Basically, the law to allow a suicidal woman an abortion was not honoured. Not that they make it easy. In order to get approval for a termination, a woman can need approval from up to seven experts which for low-income individuals is no easy feat.

There is also a right-to-travel option for women, who are given ‘permission’ to travel to the UK for abortions. This law is also moot for those who simply do not have the funds to travel and/or pay for the procedure. In addition, many low-income women are not made aware of their rights at all, including members of the traveller community and immigrants. It’s not clear if this woman was even informed of the extent of her rights but let's be real, it doesn't sound like it.

The Irish-based organisation Lawyers for Choice has submitted the case to the UN Human Rights Commission. When the law was passed initially, the UN didn’t hide its disdain for the terms, saying that requiring approval from seven professionals for an abortion was ‘additional mental torture’.

Picture: Getty

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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