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Saturday 10 December 2016

I never dreamed I'd choose abortion until nightmare diagnosis

Senator Ronan Mullen argues against repealing the Eighth Amendment, yet doesn't understand the humanity of the situation, writes Dr Siobhan Donohue

Published 09/10/2016 | 02:30

MIXED EMOTIONS: Dr Siobhan Donohue’s child TJ had anencephaly. Photo: Steve Humphreys
MIXED EMOTIONS: Dr Siobhan Donohue’s child TJ had anencephaly. Photo: Steve Humphreys

October 1 was my third child's fifth birthday. An important and significant milestone. However, it was a day of mixed emotions as it was also the fifth anniversary of his death.

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TJ had severe anencephaly. The top half of his head never formed. There was nothing above his eyes: no brain, no skull, no scalp. We found this out at his 20-week anomaly scan. I will never forget the words of the sonographer. "I'm a little concerned," she said. "I can't see the top of the baby's skull."

In that moment everything changed. I am a GP so I knew what she meant. "Do you mean like anencephaly?" I heard myself say.

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