Pregnant woman with '15 percent chance of delivery' told to go abroad for abortion, Dáil told
A pregnant woman who has a "15 percent chance of delivery" was told to go abroad for an abortion, the Dáil has been told.
TD Ruth Coppinger told Taoiseach Leo Varadkar yesterday that there remain signs that women with fatal foetal abnormality diagnoses are still making appointments for abortion services in the UK, despite the country's new abortion laws.
The legislation states that abortion is legal in any circumstance under 12 weeks. Specific cases including FFA diagnoses can be granted outside of this timeframe.
Coppinger told the Dáil that a woman who has a "15 percent chance of delivery" was given the details of clinics in the UK when she asked for an abortion.
The woman had attended Galway's Portiuncula Hospital where she was told she had a nuchal translucency with fluid around the neck of 8 - 9mm, as well as possible Edward's Syndrome.
I just raised the case of a woman who had to travel for a termination following a diagnosis of Edward's syndrome despite #repealthe8th. Culture in the hospitals & inadequacy in the law causing this. Taoiseach evaded it by raising disability! #dubw #LQs
— Ruth Coppinger (@RuthCoppingerSP) February 19, 2019
Coppinger said the woman, who she called 'Mary,' told her she was "treated like a leper." She said that doctors told her there was nothing they could do because she was over 12 weeks pregnant.
The woman then said she was given the names of three hospitals in England. She later contacted the HSE about the matter and after she was told they couldn't do anything she made plans to travel to the UK.
Coppinger asked Varadkar for a review of the legislation, stating that politicians "chickened out" on the question of severe FFA.
The Taoiseach said that the legislation would evolve over time.
"Unfortunately it may not be up to scratch for some women and patients now, but we'll see that it improves as it is developed," he said.
"It's not that we chickened out, we decided as a house and we said during the referendum campaign when we asked people to vote yes, at least I did, that we would not allow disability to be grounds for terminations after 12 weeks."
This comes weeks after the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) seized nine abortion pills that had been illegally ordered into the country.
The tablets were confiscated in January.