Latest: Pro Life group hit out at ’grossly irresponsible’ use of case to attack 8th Amendment

Update 7.25pm: The Pro Life Campaign has hit out at what they claim is the "grossly irresponsible" use by pro choice advocates of selected details of today’s news that a young woman had been denied an abortion under the 2013 Abortion Act.

The news that a woman had been put into a psychiatric unit after seeking an abortion has been widely condemned today by a variety of groups.

Pro Life Campaign spokeswoman, Cora Sherlock, said the full facts of the case were not yet known, however, "and it is grossly irresponsible for pro-choice campaigners to be using this case as another opportunity to attack the Eighth Amendment.

“We need to stop pretending that abortion treats suicide ideation or any mental health condition. This false claim was enshrined in the 2013 law which has failed women and babies and will continue to do so until our laws reflect the peer-reviewed evidence in this area.

Ms Sherlock suggested that in all the commentary today there hasn’t been a word from the pro-choice side about the unborn baby.

"I find it troubling that the baby never seems to feature in pro-choice considerations. At the heart of this story is a mother and her baby boy or girl and we should be concerned for the welfare of both.

"Modern ultra-sound technology illuminates how amazingly well developed the baby is, even from a very early stage. It appears pro-choice advocates believe none of this matters.

“I think the public are starting to see through the way pro-choice advocates use just about anything to find an angle that they can use to undermine the Eighth Amendment," she concluded.

Update 6.25pm: A leading psychiatrist said confusion over our abortion laws is leading to difficult situations for patients.

It comes after a new report revealed a young girl was sectioned after asking for a termination.

She was moved to a psychiatric unit on the advice of a psychiatrist who said an abortion was not the solution - a court later ordered that she be released.

Veronica O’Keane, Associate Psychiatry Professor at Tallaght hospital said the laws are a mess.

“The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act is a cumbersome legal tool that doesn’t translate very well into medical practice.

“It is not clear at all what a girl or a woman presenting with suicidal ideation would expect from the medical services.”

Update 3pm: A young girl being put into a psychiatric unit while seeking an abortion is a human rights violation, according to a Solidarity TD.

Ruth Coppinger said the case highlights serious flaws in the current laws around terminations of pregnancy.

The girl was suicidal, however she was reportedly detained under the Mental Health Act under the advice of a psychiatrist who said an abortion was not the solution.

Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger said in these situations psychiatrists have huge power.

“There are a number of anti-abortion psychiatrists and they could end up on a panel which can adjudicate over a young woman’s feelings, her mental health, her physical health - and they can decide that she doesn’t have autonomy over her own body.

“This situation is another human rights violation.”

Earlier:A young girl who asked for an abortion was sectioned in a psychiatric unit, according to a new report.

The Child Care Law Reporting Project has been looking at how children are treated in our legal system.

It has found that one girl was told by a psychiatrist that an abortion was ’not the solution’ to her problems.

The girl was detained under the Mental Health Act but was later let go, on the advice of another doctor.

The Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC) have said today they are “disgusted” and “deeply concerned” by the reports that a pregnant child was detained under the mental health act after seeking an abortion.

"Looking at the report, it’s hard not to think that the psychiatrist in this case essentially used the Mental Health Act as a tool to force a child into continuing an unwanted pregnancy because of their own personal beliefs" said ARC spokesperson Linda Kavanagh.

"It is clear we need some process which ensures medical professionals with such conscientious objections cannot block timely health care in critical cases."

Ms Kavanagh also said the report was further evidence that the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act (PLDPA) is not fit for purpose.

Ms Kavanagh said it was “alarming” that the treatment of the girl in this case so closely mirrored previous high profile cases in Ireland.

"The report from the Child Care Law Reporting Project says that the girl and her mother thought she was being transferred to Dublin for an abortion and was instead detained," she said.

"This is a grave breach of trust of a vulnerable young girl and echos the treatment of Ms Y in 2013 who was also detained and lead to believe on several occasions she was getting the abortion she so desperately needed."

“We also saw similar treatment of Ms X in 1992, another suicidal child in need of an abortion who was prevented from accessing the care she needed by the State. That we are still seeing cases of this kind 25 years later is a disgrace and an indictment of successive Governments’ failure to deal with this issue.”


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