Opposing protests due as HSE announces terms of reference for abortion case

Major pro-life and pro-choice rallies are due to take place in Dublin today.

"The Life Institute" is set to stage a vigil in solidarity with a premature baby born at 25 weeks under the Protection of Life During Pregnancy legislation.

The HSE last night published the terms of reference for its review into the case of the baby's mother, a suicidal asylum seeker who says she was raped.

The young woman was assessed by a panel of experts and refused an abortion, she was instead offered a c-section, as the pregnancy was deemed to be at an advanced stage.

A four-member panel from the HSE has now been tasked with establishing all of the facts surrounding the care of the woman, now named Ms Y.

Pro-Life campaigner Niamh Ui Bhrian is Director of The Life Institute, she is calling on people to support the young baby at the centre of this case.

She said: "A lot of people have called us and they've said that they want to bring along a little present for the baby, something to show support, and we've said 'if you want to bring along something like that, you're very welcome'.

"We also have beautiful cards that we've made with get well messages for baby Hope, and we're hoping by the middle of next week to have about 5,000 of those signed to let him know he's not alone, that we are behind him as he struggles for life."

Sinead Redmond is a spokesperson for the Pro-Choice AIMS group, which will be holding a rally in Dublin from 2pm this afternoon.

She says it is time to repeal the 8th Amendment, saying: "Our main point is that the 8th Amendment affects not just pregnant women who need to seek abortion, but all pregnant women.

"If you are a pregnant woman in this country, you have fewer rights than those who aren't. Noone who wasn't pregnant would have been forced to go out on hunger strike, noone who wasn't pregnant would have a court order sought against them for major surgery.

"So that's why we think it's really important to repeal the 8th Amendment to ensure your rights aren't eroded because you happen to become pregnant."

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