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Outrage is mounting over ordeal of distressed young woman who was refused termination

The Irish health and legal systems have forced a pregnant woman to endure an "appalling ordeal", it has been widely claimed.

The Association for the Improvement in the Maternity Services (AIMS) Ireland expressed concerns about the recent case involving a young woman who had a baby delivered by caesarean section after seeking an abortion.

The organisation said that the case highlights "the massive flaws that AIMS Ireland and other reproductive rights organisations have been pointing out with the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill since it was drafted".

The woman's case had been assessed under legislation which was passed last summer and came into effect at the beginning of the year.

Her case was assessed by a panel of three experts made up of an obstetrician and two psychiatrists, it has emerged in recent days.

However, a week after she first presented she was informed she was to be refused an abortion, and then went on hunger and thirst strike.

The woman ultimately consented to the birth and had a c-section.

AIMS Ireland co-chair Jene Hinds Kelly said: "Why was her voice so ignored? Is she receiving appropriate after-care?"

Meanwhile, AIMS Ireland spokesperson Sinead Redmond said it was "concerning though far from surprising that this woman was not Irish".

She said that migrant women, Traveller women and "women of colour" are "disproportionately represented in the tragedies and negative outcomes of pregnancy in this country".

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AIMS said it "supports the reproductive rights and choices of all women, and we will continue to strongly campaign for these rights".

The woman had sought an abortion under the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 as she claimed to be suicidal.

Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan said she believes the constitutional ban on abortion should be revisited by a future government.

fdillon@herald.ie


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