Friends of the young woman denied an abortion under new Irish laws have repeated claims that she was raped before her arrival in Dublin.

The Irish Times reports that the woman, whose baby was delivered and taken into care over fears for her well being, had first asked for a termination in early April when she was about eight weeks pregnant.

The paper reports that the family of the woman, who was refused an abortion but was later delivered by Caesarean section, is being briefed by a friend on her welfare on Monday morning. 

A friend of the non-national spoke to the Irish Times over the weekend when he revealed that the woman had been seeking information about abortion from authorities for up to three months before approaching a doctor herself last month. The doctor referred her to a hospital.

He disputes reports that the woman was in her second trimester when she found out she was pregnant and asked for an abortion. Both the friend and a medical source familiar with the case told the paper that the woman found out she was pregnant four months ago and requested an abortion then.

The friend said the woman had been raped in her own country and found out she was pregnant when she underwent a medical assessment ‘a week or two after she arrived’ in Ireland.

He said: “She told them immediately, ‘I do not want this. I am too young to be a mother. I am not ready.’”

“She was not given information as to how to obtain an abortion and as the pregnancy continued she became increasingly distressed.”

The woman was advised she should go to a GP, which she did in mid-July. She was then admitted to hospital on July 22 and an abortion was not possible as the pregnancy was too far advanced.

In a separate development Bishop Kevin Doran, the newly ordained Bishop of Elphin, has described the delivery of the baby by caesarean section as ‘really unethical.’

He said the baby was delivered in an ‘untimely fashion when there was no physical reason for doing so.’

Bishop Doran said: “The removal of a child from the womb in that kind of context is really unethical and there is no other way of putting it. It was far better that the child was removed from the womb to be saved than to be aborted, but it is not natural.”