Tuesday 27 September 2016

'I can finally leave these bad memories behind' - woman forced to travel for abortion after she was told of fatal foetal abnormality

Jane O'Faherty

Published 10/06/2016 | 02:30

As she could not afford to stay in the UK after the procedure, Ms Mellet had to return home just 12 hours after the abortion. Photo: Steve Humphreys
As she could not afford to stay in the UK after the procedure, Ms Mellet had to return home just 12 hours after the abortion. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Almost six years after being told her baby would die in the womb or shortly after labour, the treatment of Amanda Mellet under Irish law has been decried on the international stage.

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Unable to secure an abortion in Ireland, Ms Mellet was forced to travel to England at her own expense for an abortion.

As she could not afford to stay in the UK after the procedure, Ms Mellet had to return home just 12 hours after the abortion.

After being told by the hospital officials there were no options to send the foetus' remains home, she unexpectedly received the ashes three weeks later via courier. Responding to the Human Rights Committee's comments, Ms Mellet said she wished to "finally leave behind these painful memories". Ms Mellet hopes the landmark ruling will prompt the Irish government to address abortion laws.

"My most sincere hope is that it may assist Ireland's government in finding the courage to make the necessary changes in law."

"The Human Rights Committee has made it clear that to redress the violations I have suffered, the Irish Government must ensure other women do not live through similar violations of their rights," she said.

"This cannot happen until Article 40.3.3 is repealed, until abortion is decriminalised and legislation is adopted to enable women to access services in Ireland.".

Ms Mellet said she hoped "women in Ireland will be able to access the health services they need in our own country, where we can be with our loved ones, with our own medical team, and where we have our own familiar bed to go home and cry in".

"Subjecting women to so much additional pain and trauma must not continue," she added.

Irish Independent

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