Healthcare news

Dublin woman 'denied constitutional right to abortion' two weeks after it was made legal

'Yes' campaigners celebrate the repeal of the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution which banned abortions unless a mother's life was in danger. Picture by Niall Carson, Press Association

A WOMAN carrying a baby diagnosed with a fatal foetal abnormality is considering travelling to Britain for a termination after being turned down for an abortion by a Dublin hospital - two weeks after it became legal in the Republic.

The Dáil heard yesterday that the woman was told by the board of Coombe Women's Hospital to wait four weeks to see if she had a spontaneous miscarriage even though two consultants had confirmed a case of fatal foetal abnormality.

The Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act allows for terminations when two obstetricians certify the foetus will not survive outside the womb.

However, PBP-Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger accused the hospital of "refusing her (the woman's) constitutional right that we all voted for to have an abortion at a time she chooses".

Read More: Doctors question if Republic's health service will be ready for abortions by January 2019

"This is precisely the case that was brought to national attention that led to pressure and demands for repeal of the eighth amendment," she said.

"At 13 weeks, this woman went for her 12-week scan. They could clearly see at that point that the organs of the foetus were outside the body."

Party colleague Brid Smith told TDs the woman, believed to be from Dublin, had asked for the case to be raised in the Dail and said the pregnancy was "much wanted".

"But she is being told by doctors you can go to England.

"Her words to me were 'this is not what I voted for. I have constitutional rights'."

Read More: Eighth Amendment officially removed from the Irish constitution

Dail speaker Seán Ó Fearghaíl said it was not appropriate for the Dáil to discuss individual medical circumstances.

Tanáiste Simon Coveney said while the law is clear he agreed with the Ceann Comhairle that it was not appropriate to raise the case on the floor of the Dáil.

A spokesman for health minister Simon Harris said the department does "not comment on individual cases".

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