Monday 24 April 2017

Brexit could make fatal foetal abnormality even more traumatic

Independent TD Mick Wallace. Photo: Tom Burke
Independent TD Mick Wallace. Photo: Tom Burke
Deirdre Conroy

Deirdre Conroy

The supremacy of Ireland's Constitution over our legislation is such that any challenge to the Constitution must be brought to the Supreme Court, where up to seven judges will decide on the issue.

For a traumatised pregnant woman to bring a challenge, she would have to appeal a High Court decision against her. When she is no longer pregnant, the issue is moot. You can see the impossibility of that situation.

This has now become an even more dangerous situation as, following the British vote to leave the EU, Irish women who are diagnosed with fatal foetal abnormality face the possibility of a controlled border with the UK. Are we going to send them to Paris now? Or Geneva? Can Health Minister Simon Harris provide a travel bursary, given that we refuse to acknowledge they need medical assistance here? Perhaps, the HSE could include them in the Treatment Abroad Scheme (TAS), which provides the cost of approved treatments in another EU/EEA member state or Switzerland?

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