Taoiseach urged to recall Dáil over abortion controversy

The Taoiseach is being urged to bring politicians back from their holidays to discuss our abortion laws, after a woman was refused a termination.

The pregnant suicidal woman, who is reported to have been raped, was assessed by a panel of three experts after she claimed she was suicidal, but the obstetrician said because the baby was at an advanced stage, it should be delivered.

The woman initially rejected this decision, and went on hunger strike, but eventually agreed for the baby to be delivered by C Section. The baby was delivered at 24 weeks.

It is understood the woman, who is not Irish, could not leave the country to have a termination, due to her legal status.

Simon Mills, a barrister and former doctor, said this case highlights some insufficiencies in the new laws. "I think it highlights the particular difficulties faced by the impoverished and stateless," he said.

"We always operate on the blithe assumption that with cheap flights, with the availability of certain services on the NHS, that going to the UK is not a problem.

"But for somebody who is in effect stateless, leaving his jurisdiction to go to another … is not a runner."

Socialist TD Ruth Coppinger said she believed another referendum needed to be held to remove the recent amendment from our constitution.

"We need to reconvene the Dáil to discuss when there can be a referendum to repeal the eighth amendment," she said. " We can't have any more women suffering or dying like Savita Halapanavar did.

"We should allow abortions in case of rape, incest, fatal foetal abnormality and also on the grounds of mental or physical health."

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