Minister: UK abortion death a 'traumatic and dreadful' tragedy

Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald

Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald has called for the facts to be established into the case of a woman who died in London after travelling there for an abortion.

Minister Fitzgerald has described as tragic the death of the 32-year-old foreign national, who died in a taxi hours after the termination at a clinic in west London 18 months ago.

The woman was legally resident in Ireland and is understood to have had a condition which raised the risk of miscarriage, although it was not believed to be in any way life-threatening.

Minister Fitzgerald today said the London Metropolitan Police must be allowed carry out an investigation:

The minister described the woman's death as a ``traumatic and dreadful'' tragedy.

She said the Government is unaware of the details of the particular case and the woman’s medical circumstances.

“Clearly it’s a tragic story and a tragic outcome for that young woman and we clearly must have all of the facts outlined in relation given the fact that the woman travelled from Ireland and died in a taxi in England,” Minister Fitzgerald said.

She reminded Irish women who travel to the UK for an abortion that aftercare is available to them upon their return.

“We are in a situation where we had 6,500 women travelling to England. That’s now reduced to 4,500,” Minister Fitzgerald said.

“But of course it’s extremely important that those women are aware that after care is available for them when they return to this country and there are good services.

“And clearly the obstetrics services and gynaecological services, they are available to these women.”

Meanwhile the Pro Life Campaign has said the case "raises major questions about the safety of abortion in certain clinics".

“This tragic story is not the first incident of a life-endangering situation involving an Irish woman at a Marie Stopes clinic," spokeswomen Cora Sherlock said.

“It is disturbing the way some people are trying to use this tragic story to continue the push for abortion in Ireland when it is obvious the focus should be on what happened in the Marie Stopes clinic leading to her death.

“While official figures suggest that abortion in Britain is relatively safe for women, there have been several reports and incidents recently that challenge this claim.”

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