Friday 17 January 2020

Woman forced into abortion by husband, court told

Stock photo
Stock photo

Ray Managh

A woman was forced by her "violent and abusive" husband to have an abortion in Manchester, the High Court heard.

Barrister Shannon Michael Haynes told the court the woman, who cannot be identified, was now under threat of deportation. She was seeking leave to challenge the legality of a decision of the Justice Minister refusing her permission to remain in Ireland.

Mr Haynes, who appeared with Una O'Brien, of Sinnott Solicitors, said the woman left her husband and obtained a divorce because of his abusive behaviour. Gardaí twice had to be called to their home because of his violence towards her.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott heard that the woman came to Ireland on a tourist visa, before obtaining a study visa. Her status changed to spouse of an Irish citizen, when she wed.

Mr Haynes said the husband quickly became abusive and his wife became pregnant. He put extreme pressure on her to terminate the pregnancy.

"He had arranged everything from the flight ticket to the clinic procedure because I wanted to keep my baby and had categorically refused to have an abortion," the woman told Judge McDermott in a sworn statement. The woman said having an abortion was something she found difficult to talk about and was deeply ashamed.

She said her husband had continued to be hostile. Her father-in-law was abusive and often called her "a black bitch".

She returned to Mauritius to recover, and came back to Ireland later through the North.

She sought to renew her visa which was refused, and had failed in an appeal against the decision. She had met and was in a happy relationship with a new partner in Ireland.

The woman is seeking to quash the minister's refusal of her application for a change in her immigration status and his decision to deport her. She also seeks a declaration that it is unlawful to impose a requirement as to duration of joint residence on victims of domestic violence who were married to an Irish citizen. The judge said he would grant the woman leave to judicially review the refusals and the minister's deportation proposal, on which he placed a stay until the hearing of the judicial review in October.

Irish Independent

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