Sunday 17 December 2017

Man seeks injunction to stop girlfriend going to UK for 'forced' abortion

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

A MAN wants an injunction to prevent a young woman travelling to the UK to terminate her pregnancy as he believes she is being "forced" to do so by her parents.

The High Court has adjourned the case until tomorrow after hearing a request from the man that the woman be examined by a forensic psychiatrist to ascertain if she really wants to terminate the pregnancy. He says he will not stand in her way if it is her wish to have the abortion.

The young woman was served with notice of the application to stop her travelling earlier yesterday and has no legal representation, High Court judge Ms Justice Mary Laffoy has heard.

Earlier, the Office of the Attorney General said it had no role to play in the action as the rights involved were of a private nature and the boyfriend was not seeking to prevent the young woman from travelling to terminate the pregnancy if that was her wish.

The young man and woman sat beside each other in the High Court as the boyfriend's lawyer sought a direction from the court to facilitate an interview with a forensic psychiatrist to ascertain the girl's wishes.

Seamus O Tuathaill SC, for the man, said he wanted an opportunity for a replying affidavit and a psychiatric report.

The case has been adjourned until tomorrow morning to allow the woman to receive legal advice.

The man has claimed that he fears his pregnant girlfriend is being brought by her family to the UK against her will to undergo an abortion. He has asked the High Court for a number of injunctions preventing his girlfriend from undergoing an abortion or from leaving the jurisdiction until it can be ascertained if she is acting of her own free will.

The couple, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, are both foreign nationals but have been residing in Ireland.

In an affidavit to the court the man said his girlfriend "is happy to be pregnant" and "never expressed any desire to have an abortion", but her family were of the view she would be "ruined" if she had a child with a non-white man.

He said her true intentions were that she be registered with a maternity hospital, and he said she was looking forward to having a scan in the near future. She had also bought baby clothes for the child.

Mr O Tuathaill said his client discovered that his girlfriend had been booked into a clinic in the UK and was due to undergo a procedure today.

Ms Justice Mary Laffoy granted the man permission to bring proceedings to serve short notice of proceedings against his girlfriend aimed at preventing her from leaving the jurisdiction and undergoing an abortion until it could be determined if she was acting of her own free will.

Leave was granted on an ex-parte (one side only represented) basis. The judge also directed that the Attorney General be made a notice party to the proceedings.

The man is also seeking an injunction restraining her parents from conveying her out of the jurisdiction until it can be determined if she is acting of her own free will.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News