Woman in Ireland has been refused an abortion, claims TD

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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 TD Ruth Coppinger said the pregnant woman received news that her foetus had fatal abnormalities.

She described the matter while speaking in Dail Eireann 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,” Ms 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.

Coombe Women’s Hospital in Dublin – stock
Coombe Women’s Hospital in Dublin (PA)

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

The Dail’s Speaker (Ceann Comhairle) Sean O Fearghail told Ms Coppinger that it was not appropriate to discuss a medical situation in the Dail.

Ms 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 .

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