Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

May-04-07

Ireland's High Court to Hear Case Over Teen's Right to Abortion

A 17-year-old Irish girl petitioned Ireland's High Court yesterday for the right to travel to England to obtain an abortion, which remains illegal in Ireland even in cases of rape, incest, and severe fetal anomalies. The girl, known in the media as "Miss D," has been in the custody of Ireland's Health Services Executive (HSE) since February after being removed from her mother's care due to incidents of abuse. Four months pregnant, Miss D -- who had planned to carry her pregnancy to term -- discovered in April that the fetus is afflicted with a rare brain defect and has no chance of survival, but the HSE won't allow her to leave the country to seek an abortion. The fetus' condition, called anencephaly, prevents sections of the brain and skull from forming and is always fatal; babies born with anencephaly are generally blind, deaf, and unconscious, and can only survive a maximum of three days outside the womb.

Since 2002, three minors in state custody have been permitted to leave Ireland for abortions after demonstrating that the pregnancy threatened their life or rendered them suicidal. Miss D has told the court that although she is not suicidal, it would be "inhumane" to be forced to continue with the pregnancy DPE, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports. She claims the HSE's mandate has deprived her of a right to her personal autonomy. According to the Attorney General, the HSE does not have the authority to restrict Miss D's travel. The Attorney General has, however, moved to have the "unborn child" represented in the hearing, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

According to the Irish Examiner, Miss D's Senior Counsel Eoghan Fitzsimons told the court, "She's being denied rights guaranteed to every citizen because she is under 18 and subject to a care order. It is discrimination of the highest order."

Miss D's case has reignited the abortion debate in the predominately Catholic country, which has some of the strictest abortion regulations in Europe.

Media Resources: Belfast Telegraph 5/3/07, 5/1/07; Deutsche Presse-Agentur 5/3/07; The Guardian (UK) 5/1/07; Irish Examiner 5/3/07


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

4/18/2014 Texas Hospitals Revoke Admitting Privileges to Abortion Providers - Reproductive health access in Texas continues to vanish in the wake of HB 2, the omnibus anti-abortion bill that, among other things, requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges in order to keep their clinics open. . . .
 
4/18/2014 Dartmouth President Calls For Changes In Wake of Federal Sexual Assault Investigation - Dartmouth College President Phil Hanlon gave a powerful speech Wednesday night calling for significant changes on campus in light of its high rates of sexual assault, high-risk drinking, and discriminatory social scene. "Darmouth's promise is being hijacked by high-risk and harmful behaviors, behaviors that are hurting too many of our students, dividing us as a community and distracting from our important work of teaching and learning," Hanlon said. . . .
 
4/17/2014 Federal Court Permanently Blocks North Dakota's Extreme 6-Week Abortion Ban - A federal district court permanently blocked one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the nation yesterday, calling it "invalid and unconstitutional." The North Dakota law, HB 1456, directly challenged Roe v. . . .