Tuesday 23 October 2018

Miss D: my story

'I'll bury my child here. I have clothes bought for my baby. I'll be pregnant next year'

Miss D yesterday. The photograph has been digitally modified to protect her identity.
Miss D yesterday. The photograph has been digitally modified to protect her identity.
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

THE pregnant teenage girl at the centre of the Miss D controversy last night exclusively told the Irish Independent her extraordinary story and spoke of her plans for the future.

In a remarkable account of how she took on the State, including the Health Services Executive, the courageous 17-year-old tells how:

* She will be medically induced rather than having a surgical abortion. This means she will give birth to her baby - even though she knows it will die within days.

* She will bring her baby home to be buried in Ireland.

* Hearing her life story exposed in court "destroyed her".

She also tells of her delight at discovering she was pregnant, her horror at the news that her baby would not survive and her disgust at the way she was treated by the HSE and social workers.

And how she was totally against abortion until she found out her baby suffered from anencephaly, a disease which meant it would be born with part of its brain missing.

Miss D, who is in care, this week won a High Court battle to allow her to travel abroad for an abortion.

The HSE had tried to stop her from travelling and was sharply criticised by the judge for the way it dealt with the case.

A social worker had even told gardai to stop her from travelling - an act the High Court said had no foundation in the law.

In an emotional interview, Miss D says she is looking forward to having the inducement so she will be able to hold her baby in her arms and say goodbye.

She also tells how:

* She would love to have a baby "tomorrow" and plans to get pregnant next year.

* She will buy dolls clothes for the baby's burial.

* The couple had chosen the names of the baby.

* She will always see the baby as her first child.

She says how she wasn't planning to get pregnant but when she did, she was shocked but delighted.

"I was a bit scared and worried but then after a few days I started getting excited and planning my future with him (her boyfriend).

"We were planning to get our own house at the end of the month," she said yesterday.

They were about to buy a car and had a buggy, clothes and toys bought for the baby - the family's first grandchild.

"We just wanted to be set up as a family . . . til we heard the news," she said.

It was her 17th birthday when she got the scan at which she discovered the devastating news.

"I just went crazy and I ran out of the hospital. I didn't even want to hear the information about the illness," she said through tears.

"It was like God had given up on me."

She went on to say how she thoroughly researched the condition on the internet, hoping to find a cure.

But the images she saw of the disease "killed me, I had nightmares for a few nights after that. It was like a freak show".

It was then she seriously started researching abortion options and came across pro-life websites.

"There were pictures of babies who had been aborted and I didn‘t want that, my baby deserved to live, it deserved more than that." It was then she decided to have the baby medically induced which means she will give birth to the child which she believes is a girl. She hopes to be able to get a birth cert and bring her home to be buried.

She wants to have the burial in Ireland so "I don't forget that it is my child. And to my next child, I want to tell my child it did have a brother or sister."

However, she said she wished she did not have to travel to have the procedure but wanted to have it in Ireland.

She called for abortion laws in Ireland to be changed but abortion on demand should remain illegal.

"I don‘t think that abortion should be allowed unless it is for the right reasons like really bad abnormalities; if there is no life guaranteed. There should be allowed to be abortions for that and rape cases should be looked at as well."

But women should not be allowed to abort just because she doesnt want the baby.

She also spoke of her shame at going through the court case but said she was determined to be there every day.

"It destroyed me."

When I sat in the court room and I heard my mother's name being brought up in it, and my overdose that no one knows about, absolutely nobody except the two families, that killed me. 'Cos a lot of people from my town know who I am and that kills me."

She said the court case was the worst feeling - "it was the shame".

Miss D also revealed that she had her last scan on Tuesday of this week. "I cried my eyes out. I was very shook up. My baby still looks like my baby except for the head. Everything from the neck down is perfect."

She added that if it was not for the public, she did not think she would have been able to cope.

"A lot of papers said nice things about me and I really appreciate that. I thought I was going to get knocked down for doing what I was doing. I didn't think people would understand.

Dearbhail McDonald

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