NEWS
17/01/2019 17:11 GMT | Updated 18/01/2019 08:59 GMT

Woman In Ireland ‘Refused Abortion’ Despite New Legislation

"This is not what I voted for. I have constitutional rights."

A woman has been refused an abortion at a hospital in Dublin, the Irish Parliament has been told.

The claim comes just two weeks after abortion became legal in Ireland.

Irish Solidarity-People Before Profit politician Ruth Coppinger said the pregnant woman received news that her foetus had fatal abnormalities.

She described the matter while speaking in the Irish parliament on Thursday as the “first test case” for the new abortion legislation, which became law on January 1.

“I have been contacted by a woman who has a fatal foetal abnormality that has been certified by two consultants - and now it appears that the board of the Coombe Hospital is refusing her constitutional right which we all voted for, to have an abortion at a time she chooses,” Coppinger told the Dail.

“Instead they have told her that she must wait another four weeks to see if there is a spontaneous miscarriage.

“Now, this is precisely the case that was brought to national attention that led to pressure and demands for repeal of the eighth amendment.

“At 13 weeks, this woman went for her 12-week scan. They could clearly see at that point that the organs of the foetus were outside the body.”

Coppinger said the woman is now considering travelling to Great Britain to get an abortion.

The lower house of parliament’s Speaker Sean O Fearghail told Coppinger that it was not appropriate to discuss a medical situation in the Dáil Éireann.

Coppinger insisted: “This is about the law”.

Her Irish Solidarity-People Before Profit colleague Brid Smith also spoke up for the woman, who is believed to be from Dublin.

“She’s pregnant on a much-wanted baby. But she is being told by doctors you can go to England,” she said,

“Her words to me were ‘this is not what I voted for. I have constitutional rights’.”

Legislation providing for abortions up to 12 weeks without restriction was signed into law in the Republic of Ireland on December 20 by President Michael D Higgins, following a landslide vote in favour of liberalising the country’s strict laws.

Abortion services were introduced on January 1.

PA Wire/PA Images
Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital in Dublin, where a woman has been refused an abortion, the Irish parliament has been told (file picture)