Maeve Sheehan: Traumatic journey of a pregnant girl
Published 24/08/2014 | 02:30
SHE was suicidal because of a pregnancy which, she says, was a result of rape, and so was entitled to seek an abortion in Ireland under legislation passed last year. But the vulnerable asylum seeker in State care was apparently unaware of this until it was too late to terminate the foetus. On Friday, the HSE launched an investigation into the care given to Ms Y. But new details obtained by the Sunday Independent suggest that the young woman's escalating distress was flagged with State authorities at an early stage, raising more troubling questions over her care.
A young woman turned up at the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner on Lower Mount Street in Dublin, impoverished and unable to speak English and alone. How she got here is not clear but she came seeking asylum from a conflict in her native country. Her family members had been murdered and had been raped. She was vulnerable, in terror of a relative, and apparently unaware that she was pregnant. She was dispatched to an accommodation centre run under the auspices of the Department of Justice.