In extremely upsetting news, a mother in Ireland was forced to give birth at around 25 weeks via cesarean section after she asked for an abortion. The woman, who hasn't been named for obvious reasons, became pregnant after being raped, according to a friend. When she was about eight weeks into her pregnancy, she was refused an abortion under Ireland's 2013 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, which allows women to terminate their pregnancies in only extremely rare circumstances. After she reportedly revealed that she felt suicidal, and was still denied an abortion, the woman threatened to go on a hunger strike in protest. It was then that health officials were granted permission to perform a c-section on the woman to ensure the baby's safety. According to the Guardian, the baby "has been placed in care."
Many people in Ireland, understandably, are outraged with the government's decision to refuse an abortion to a rape victim with suicidal thoughts -- particularly since the exceptions of the law are supposed to be for women whose lives are in danger, and women who feel suicidal in cases such as rape an incest. Doctors for Choice, a pro-choice group of physicians, said, "If a young rape victim, certified as requiring an abortion due to the risk of suicide, cannot access abortion services, then the legislation and its implementation are clearly fatally flawed. Repealing the eighth amendment in an urgent referendum and decriminalising abortion have now achieved emergency status."
Currently, an internal review is being conducted by the Health Service Executive to learn exactly what happened in this particular case. The hope is that it will "end any inaccurate commentary surrounding this matter currently."
Details in this case appear to be pretty scant, and of course, there's always the chance for things to get misconstrued, but if the general gist of this is true -- wow. How incredibly disturbing and heartbreaking. Delivering a baby at 25 weeks is a terrifying, and ironic, way of ensuring he or she survives. Thank goodness the newborn is okay, but my heart breaks for the mother who had to endure not one, but two incredibly traumatizing experiences in such a short time.
Some people are pro-choice and some are pro-life, and never the twain shall meet. But can we all agree that if the basic facts here are true, this is a seriously disturbing, unbelievably sad story?
What do you think of this?
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