Monday 22 July 2013

Man in forced abortion threat case grateful to SPUC

court building, Dublin
The young man at the centre of the abortion case in the Dublin High Court on 16 July has said he is extremely grateful to the pro-life groups which helped him prevent his girlfriend from being forced to travel to England for an abortion. SPUC and Women's Net crisis pregnancy agency had provided him with advice and support when he approached them earlier in the week.

On Friday 12 July, the young man's girlfriend was taken from their home in Northern Ireland by her parents and brought to Dublin. Shortly afterwards, he discovered that an abortion had been arranged to take place within a matter of days, despite the fact that she wanted her baby.

Already 20 weeks pregnant, she had given up smoking, had picked out baby clothes and was receiving appropriate ante-natal care. Earlier in pregnancy she had expressed a desire to have her baby even if the child was disabled. Having taken her to Dublin, however, her parents had prevented the child's father from contacting her. Concerned for the safety of his girlfriend and their baby, the young man was desperate to find help. After discussing the situation with SPUC and Women's Net, it became clear that a legal intervention to prevent her from being taken out of Ireland was the only realistic option. He was then put in touch with a legal team in Dublin who was able to act on his behalf.

The result of this action was to remove the pressure being applied to the young woman. Having assured the Court that she would not be prevented from having her baby, the psychiatric assessment called for by the Court to establish her wishes was no longer required and the application was withdrawn.

Liam Gibson SPUC's development officer in Northern Ireland, told the media:
"This case highlights the very serious issue of women being coerced into having abortions. Despite the slogans, women frequently undergo abortions because they feel they have no choice. No woman should be compelled by parents, a husband, boyfriend or even financial pressures to have an abortion. And no one can give proper consent without being informed of the serious and potentially life-long consequences of abortion. These are issues which the Irish government has completely ignored in its rush to legalise abortion in Ireland.

In this case, the fact that the young woman would have had to travel to Britain for an abortion provided vital time in which a forced abortion could be prevented. Other women have not been so lucky."
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