News reports indicate that an immigrant woman whom a friend says was raped in her country of origin discovered that she was pregnant after arriving in Ireland. The friend says that she asked for an abortion when she was eight weeks pregnant, but it is not clear that she was then eligible for the procedure under the new Irish abortion law. According to the reports, she again asked for an abortion in July, threatening suicide, and was found to be suicidal by a panel of two psychiatrists and an obstetrician.
The Irish Constitution and the Irish abortion law hold that the lives of both woman and child are of equal value, and both must be saved if practicable. Since the pregnancy was so far advanced, it was decided that the baby should be delivered by Caesarean section, since that would provide the baby an opportunity to survive. The woman initially refused and refused to take food or fluids. After medical authorities obtained a court order to rehydrate her she consented to the Caesarean and the baby was delivered at about 25 weeks gestation. The baby is now apparently in the custody of the state and being supported in a neonatal ward, while the mother is receiving psychiatric treatment.
The case has reignited the abortion controversy in Ireland.
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- Woman denied abortion in Ireland ‘became pregnant after rape’
- Ireland: Woman forced to give birth by caesarean after being denied abortion
- Pregnant women face abortion ban in Ireland even if they’re a suicide risk