Saturday 3 December 2016

In the eyes of the State, it seems this woman was not a human with rights

Despite psychiatrists 
saying 'yes', a young 
suicidal woman is 
denied an abortion

Published 17/08/2014 | 02:30

During our most recent, divisive debates on abortion, Professor William Binchy and others warned us of the arrival of horrific "abortion mills" into Ireland if we dared legislate for the X Case. This week, he can rest assured that there is no place in Ireland where a "well woman with a well child" [ie a pregnant woman suffering from suicidal ideation, a potentially fatal condition] would be offered the human rights which would be commonplace in the rest of Europe.

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It is with horror and not a little fear that I try to understand what happened to a young woman in our country recently. Faced with a crisis pregnancy and for reasons which we are not able to disclose, this young woman was not in a position ( as so many thousands of Irish women have done, and continue to do, before her) to head to the UK or further afield to get the medical attention she wanted.

She only discovered that she was actually pregnant during her second trimester and consequently became suicidal. Under our new, much touted compassionate legislation - so hard fought for, so grudgingly given - this young woman should have been allowed to have a termination within this State if three expert professionals on a panel agreed that there was indeed a risk to her life if she proceeded with her pregnancy.

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