Her abdomen belongs to the state

You know that tweak to the Irish abortion law last summer, that was supposed to prevent another Savita Halappanavar case from happening?

Never mind.

The BBC reports the bare outline:

A “suicidal” woman has given birth by caesarean section in the Republic of Ireland after requesting a termination under the country’s new abortion law.

It is understood she requested an abortion late in her second trimester.

An expert panel assessed her as having suicidal thoughts but it was decided she should have a caesarean section.

She began a hunger strike and health authorities went to court to force her to end the fast. She later agreed to a caesarean and gave birth to a child.

So, in short, it turned out that she had no rights of her own at all. Her pregnancy had rights that canceled all of her rights.

The Irish Independent has important details:

The young woman at the centre of the first known test of the country’s new abortion laws feared her life was in danger, the Sunday Independent has learned.

The woman, who is not an Irish national, believed there was a serious threat to her safety and well-being, though not on medical grounds, as a result of her pregnancy.

Earlier this summer, the woman sought an abortion under Section 9 of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, 2013 as she claimed to be suicidal. Her case was assessed by a panel of three experts, as set out under the legislation passed last summer. The panel was made up a consultant obstetrician and two psychiatrists.

The psychiatrists on the panel determined her life was at risk as she had suicidal thoughts.

But the consultant obstetrician said the baby could be delivered as it was far enough into the pregnancy.

A week after the young woman first presented she was informed she was to be refused an abortion.

No rights for her, rights only for her pregnancy, the pregnancy she did not want.

The young woman was in the second trimester of the pregnancy when she discovered she was pregnant and requested the abortion. For reasons that cannot be disclosed, she was not in a position to travel to the UK for the termination.

In what is believed to be one of the first cases under the new abortion laws, the woman sought a termination as she claimed to be suicidal.

The woman’s suicidal thoughts are understood to have been underpinned by fear of her family’s reaction. She is also understood to have been deeply concerned about the reaction of one individual.

According to two sources familiar with the case, there is a suggestion that the young woman may have become pregnant as a result of a rape, although this has not been confirmed. According to the new abortion laws, there is a duty on doctors to preserve the life of the unborn as far as practicable.

So the state forced her to have major abdominal surgery, against her will.

I don’t suppose her worries about “the reaction of one individual” have been much alleviated by this outcome.


  1. tuibguy says

    It seems in Ireland that the “reaction of one individual” is not the concern of the state and she is to deal with it on her own. It is a problem she should have considered before being raped, correct?

    Tell me, is Northern Ireland as rotten as the Republic of Ireland?

  2. badgersdaughter says

    The single way Northern Ireland is not as rotten as the Republic of Ireland is that legal residents of Northern Ireland have the right to travel to other parts of the UK for the abortion. I suspect, but have no evidence to support, that the young woman in this case had some immigration issue (not eligible for a visa, a previous deportation, a criminal record) that prevented her from entering the UK legally.

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