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Image / Editorial

Dublin hospital reportedly refused an abortion to a pregnant woman, Dáil hears


by Erin Lindsay
17th Jan 2019
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The Dáil has heard today that a woman, pregnant with a baby with a fatal foetal abnormality, was refused an abortion by the Coombe Hospital in Dublin.

The claim was made by TDs Ruth Coppinger and Bríd Smith, who are both members of the Solidarity-People Before Profit Alliance.

According to Ruth Coppinger, the woman was told she would have to wait four weeks to “see if there is a spontaneous miscarriage” before she may obtain a termination; something which Coppinger said, “is her constitutional right that we all voted for”.

Related: Eighth Amendment repealed as President Higgins
signs bill into law 

According to Coppinger, the woman is now considering travelling to the UK for an abortion.

She added the reason for the hospital’s actions appears to be “the chilling effect of criminalisation” that the eighth amendment has had on the country and its maternity hospitals.

Coppinger and Smith sought a response from the Tánaiste Simon Coveney on the issue. He said, “the law is now clear in this area” and that “it was not appropriate to raise a tragic case of somebody who is clearly under a lot of stress” in the Dáil. He said the case needed to be handled by doctors in the hospital.

The story has already sparked a strong reaction on social media, with many people expressing outrage at the woman’s alleged treatment by the Coombe Hospital.

Senator Catherine Noone tweeted the story was “completely and utterly unacceptable”, and called for the board of the Coombe to be brought before the Health Committee to explain their actions.

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