Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Girl sectioned after asking for an abortion in Ireland

women march.jpg

A pregnant girl who sought an abortion in Ireland was denied a termination and sectioned against her will under the Mental Health Act, it has been revealed.

The unnamed teen and her mother were under the impression she was being transferred to a Dublin hospital for an abortion late last year but instead she was detained on a psychiatric ward, the Child Care Law Reporting Project reports.


Read more: #Repealthe8th: woman shares powerful teen abortion story in bid to challenge Irish laws


A consultant psychiatrist who assessed the girl said that while she was at risk of self harm and suicide as a result of the pregnancy, they thought “this could be managed by treatment” and abortion was “not the solution” to all her problems, the report states. An order was then made for the girl to be sectioned in a psychiatric ward.

Ireland’s abortion ban:

  • From the moment of conception, terminations are illegal even in cases of rape, incest or ill health of the mother – unless there is a “real and substantial risk to the mother's life, as distinct from the health of the mother”

A court guardian arguing for the pregnant girl’s release requested a second psychiatrist assess her. They said she had “very strong views” as to why she wanted an abortion and concluded that being depressed did not mean she could be detained under the Mental Health Act.

The child was released after several days of being detained when a district court ruled that she "no longer had a mental health disorder."

girl

A teenage girl was detained when she sought an abortion

“Looking at the report, it’s hard not to think that the [first] psychiatrist in this case essentially used the Mental Health Act as a tool to force a child into continuing an unwanted pregnancy because of their own personal beliefs,” Abortion Rights Campaign spokesperson Linda Kavanagh told the Irish Mirror.

“It is clear we need some process which ensures medical professionals with such conscientious objections cannot block timely health care in critical cases,” she added.


Read more: Why protesters in 30 cities across the world marched to #Repealthe8th


However, John Hillery, the president of the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland, told the Irish Independent it is unfair to put psychiatrists in a position of deciding whether a distressed woman or girl should have an abortion “when it is a political issue that should be decided in wider society”.

The National Women's Council of Ireland said the case "highlighted the medical unworkability of the Eighth Amendment, and the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act."

Pro-life campaigners said pro-choice campaigners were “grossly irresponsible” for using the case to attack the Eighth Amendment.

Incoming Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has promised to hold a referendum on abortion rights next year.

Image: iStock

Related

cameron diaz.jpg

Someone asked Cameron Diaz why she didn’t get married until she was 42

dumplings hero.jpg

How dumplings are helping unite migrant women

girls hannah elijah.jpg

This is why you stay friends with your ex, according to science

More

20 soothing, beautiful songs guaranteed to help you fall asleep

An expert picks the ultimate classical music playlist

by Sarah Biddlecombe
20 Oct 2017

Puppy dog eyes are a thing and your dog makes them just for you

A study says dogs change their facial expressions when humans are looking

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2017

Here’s how to buy a house or a flat for the princely sum of £1

It's time to enter the real-estate raffle

by Megan Murray
20 Oct 2017

Oxford University under fire for shocking lack of racial diversity

One MP called the revelations an example of “social apartheid”

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2017

This prosecco festival is the best way to start feeling Christmassy

Bubbles, bubbles everywhere

by Susan Devaney
20 Oct 2017

Missing your 16-25 railcard? We have good news for you

Rail bosses have taken pity on cash-strapped millennials

20 Oct 2017

This man’s response to his friend’s period while hiking is everything

“I had NOTHING on me and I was wearing shorts”

by Susan Devaney
20 Oct 2017

Why anxiety makes it harder to follow your intuition

It can have a paralysing effect on decision-making

by Anna Brech
19 Oct 2017

“Why all men must work to stamp out sexual harassment and abuse”

In wake of the Weinstein allegations, one writer argues why men need to be counted

19 Oct 2017

Rage, lust, power and warmth: how it feels to experience ‘red emotions

“I grew up being told my body was terrifying and my voice was unimportant”

by The Stylist web team
19 Oct 2017