Doctors allegedly told the pregnant woman, who was facing a fetal abnormality, that she could “go to England”
A woman in Dublin has reportedly been denied an abortion despite facing what doctors confirmed to be a fetal abnormality in her 13th week of pregnancy.
The Irish Times reports that TD Ruth Coppinger and TD Brid Smith raised the matter on the floor of the Dail on January 17 after being contacted by the woman.
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TD Coppinger said in the Dail: “I want to raise what I believe is the first test case for the new abortion legislation. I have been contacted by a woman who has a fatal fetal abnormality that has been certified by two consultants.
“Now it appears the board of the Coombe Hospital is refusing her constitutional right that we all voted for to have an abortion at a time she chooses.”
In May 2018, the 8th amendment in Ireland which made abortion a constitutional offense was voted to be repealed in a referendum vote. The repeal was officially made in September 2018 and became legal in Ireland this month.
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TD Coppinger continued: “Instead they have told her that she must wait another four weeks to see if there is a spontaneous miscarriage. At 13 weeks this woman went for her 12-week scan and they could clearly see at that point that the organs of the fetus were outside of the body. They brought her back a week later where that was fully confirmed when they got a better image.
“One doctor, her consultant, and another consultant was brought in who said yes, it is a fatal fetal abnormality but a week later, it went to the board, and the board over-ruled that.”
The woman, Emma Connors, contacted the politicians in the wake of the overruling and said she wants to be named publicly and wants the matter to be raised on the floor of the Dáil.
“This is not what I voted for, I have constitutional rights,” Connors told TD Smith.
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Ceann Comhairle (Head of Council) Seán Ó Fearghaíl slammed the women raising the matter in saying: “Discussing individual medical circumstances is not appropriate.”
“This is about the law,” insisted TD Coppinger. “A main maternity hospital in the capital city of this country is refusing this woman her constitutional rights when two doctors certify what is very clearly a fatal fetal abnormality.”
Tainaiste (Deputy Head) Simon Coveney said the “law is clear in this area,” but went on to agree with the Ceann Comhairle.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate to raise a tragic case of somebody who is clearly under a lot of stress. This case needs to be dealt with appropriately by doctors and the hospital, not on the floor of the Dáil.”
TD Smith retorted “she wants to be named, she wants the termination, can you imagine what she’s going through?”
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“Are you going to contact the maternity hospital about implementing the law?” TD Coppinger asked.
Watch TD Ruth Coppinger and TD Brid Smith raise the matter in the Dail on January 17 here: