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New abortion-suicide controversy in Ireland

August 29, 2014

In 2013, Ireland passed a law permitting abortion when the mother’s life is in danger from physical illness or suicide. A panel of doctors must first approve the abortion.

In recent months, after a pregnant immigrant woman allegedly attempted suicide, she sought an abortion, and the panel of doctors denied approval because her unborn child was 24 weeks old, according to a National Catholic Register report. The mother then went on a hunger strike and agreed to a Caesarean-section delivery of her premature baby, who is now in intensive care.

“The removal of a child from the womb in that kind of context is really unethical, and there is no other way of putting it,” said Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin. “It was far better that the child was removed from the womb to be saved than to be aborted, but it is not natural.”

The case has led to calls by some politicians for a post-2016 plebiscite to overturn Ireland’s pro-life constitutional amendment.


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