Saturday 24 February 2018

Dublin woman who travelled to London for an abortion died from ‘extensive internal blood loss’

Jane Last

Jane Last

THE woman who travelled to the UK from Dublin for an abortion died from a heart attack caused by “extensive internal blood loss” hours after having the procedure.

Police in the UK are investigating the death of the mum-of-one who travelled from Dublin to London for an abortion.

Today, the Irish Independent can reveal that a post-mortem conducted on the woman concluded that she died from a heart attack, caused by extensive internal blood loss.

The London Metropolitan Police confirmed today that they were investigating the woman’s death, which occurred in Slough, on January 21, 2012, and a file will be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The 32-year-old married woman was understood to be a foreign national living in Dublin.

A spokesperson for the London Metropolitan Police confirmed that detectives from Homicide and Serious Crime Command are investigating the circumstances surrounding her “unexplained” death which occurred around midnight on Saturday, 21st, 2012, in Slough.

Medical personnel were called but the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Next of kin are aware and an inquest is scheduled to open in due course,” a spokesperson said.

“A post mortem which took place on 23 January at Wexham Hospital concluded that the cause of death was a heart attack caused by extensive internal blood loss.

“We continue to investigate the death and are liaising with the Crown Prosecution Service currently,” the spokesperson added.

A report in today’s Irish Times said the woman sought an abortion at a maternity hospital in Dublin.

However, the mother-of-one was told that it was not possible to obtain one in this jurisdiction.

It is understood she had a condition which raised the chances of a miscarriage – however, it was not believed to be a life-threatening condition.

The woman travelled to a Marie Stopes clinic in London.

However, she died in a taxi just hours after the procedure.

Speaking anonymously, the woman’s husband said she had a child in Ireland in 2010 but the pregnancy was a painful experience. It was also complicated by fibroids. Treatment for such a condition could have caused infertility, the man.

The man said they worried what would happen if she fell pregnant again.

He said his wife was approximately 20 weeks pregnant when she travelled to London for an abortion.

He told the newspaper she would have underwent the procedure sooner, but they spent some time exploring all their options.

It also took some time for the couple, who were on student visas at the time, to save the sum required for such a procedure.

Thousands of Irish women travel each year to England and Wales for an abortion.

Latest figures show that almost 4,000 women travelled to the UK last year for an abortion.

Irish Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald described the woman's death as a "traumatic and dreadful" tragedy.

She said the Government is unaware of the details of the particular case and the woman's medical circumstances.

"Clearly it's a tragic story and a tragic outcome for that young woman and we clearly must have all of the facts outlined in relation given the fact that the woman travelled from Ireland and died in a taxi in England," Ms Fitzgerald said.

She reminded Irish women who travel to the UK for an abortion that aftercare is available to them upon their return.

"We are in a situation where we had 6,500 women travelling to England. That's now reduced to 4,500," Ms Fitzgerald said.

"But of course it's extremely important that those women are aware that after care is available for them when they return to this country and there are good services.

"And clearly the obstetrics services and gynaecological services, they are available to these women."

Sarah McCarthy, of the Abortion Rights Campaign, claimed that more women will die if access to terminations is not allowed in Ireland.

"This is such a tragedy and our deepest condolences and sympathies are with the bereaved family of this woman and we urge all legislators to put an end to these barbaric practices," she said.

"Forcing women to travel abroad for abortions makes finding aftercare extremely difficult and this tragedy stands testament to what can and may continue to happen if we as a nation leave women who are most in need of care left in situations as we hear of today."

Ms McCarthy said the woman's death was recorded as a UK death rather than in the country she first sought help in.

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