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'My girlfriend is being forced into abortion'

A man wants psychiatrists to determine if his pregnant girlfriend is being forced to have an abortion in the UK against her will, the High Court heard.

The man brought the action after he discovered arrangements were made for his girlfriend to have an abortion.

The man says he has no desire to restrain her from travelling should that be her freely held wish. However, he alleges she is being forced to undergo the procedure by her family.

Yesterday morning, lawyers acting for the man asked Ms Justice Mary Laffoy for injunctions preventing his girlfriend, who is 20 weeks pregnant, 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 by order of the Court, are both foreign nationals, aged in their 20s, and reside in Ireland. The woman attended court yesterday afternoon, but was not legally represented.

The matter stands adjourned to later this week. Judge Laffoy granted the man permission to serve notice of the proceedings against his girlfriend.


In his proceedings, as well as seeking orders restraining his partner from having an abortion or from leaving the jurisdiction, he seeks an injunction restraining her parents from conveying her out of the jurisdiction until the court can ascertain if she is acting of her own free will.

The man also wants an urgent investigation to be undertaken by a psychiatrist before permitting her to leave the country for an abortion.

Earlier the court heard the couple have known each other for a year, but her family have not accepted their relationship. The man says his girlfriend's family are unhappy that she is in a relationship with someone of non-European origin.

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 adds her family are of the view she will be "ruined" if she has a child with "a non-white man".

The couple moved in together at a location away from the woman's family. The man says they were harassed at their home by members of her family. He claims that in recent days she was forced by her family to leave the house they had shared.

He also claims that a member of his girlfriend's family threatened to kill him.