Tuesday 17 September 2019

Gardai investigating after Irish girl (12) travelled to UK for abortion

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Stock Picture
Cora Sherlock

Shona Murray

Parents for Choice, which campaigns for repeal of the Eighth Amendment, has said it is “deeply saddened” that a pregnant 12-year-old had to travel to the UK for an abortion.

Gardaí and Tusla, the child and family agency, are investigating the case of the Irish girl, who had an abortion in the UK.

Under the current Irish law, the girl would not be permitted to have an abortion here, even if the pregnancy had come about as a result of rape, including statutory rape.

According to reports in the ‘Sunday Times’, gardaí have requested access to DNA samples of the aborted foetus in order to confirm that the pregnancy was the result of a relationship with a 15-year old boy.

They are seeking to rule out the possibility that the pregnancy was the result of rape by an adult.

“We all have kids and it is so hard to imagine a young girl being sent away to have healthcare elsewhere,” said Parents for Choice spokesperson Lisa Keogh Finnegan.

“A few of our membership have daughters of her age. We need to look after the children we have – she is only 12.

“You can’t ask a 12-year-old to carry a pregnancy,” Ms Keogh Finnegan told the Irish Independent.

Meanwhile, the Pro-Life Campaign described it as “an appalling and tragic case”.

Spokesperson Cora Sherlock said: “In the past, campaigners for abortion have shamelessly exploited cases like this for one reason only – to make abortion widely available.”

Ms Sherlock said the case could not warrant an abortion.

“There isn’t any reason to believe that an abortion, a traumatic experience, would help her,” she said.

“We don’t solve one traumatic experience with another traumatic experience.”

Ms Sherlock said society had a responsibility to help minors but also to “be aware of the fact that in an abortion another minor loses his or her life”.

Meanwhile, TDs will resume debating the forthcoming referendum bill in the Dáil tomorrow, where they will stay until midnight, discussing the proposed legislation.

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