Death of woman after late termination highlights again the need for abortion rights in Ireland

Responding to the news of the death in London last year of a woman who was resident in Ireland after a late termination Councillor Ruth Coppinger of the ROSA Campaign said:

“The horrendous circumstances of this death even based on the little we know highlight again the consequences of women being denied their right to make choices over their own bodies.

“According to the dead woman’s partner she was refused a termination when she was informed of the high risk of miscarriage. She also endured complications in a previous pregnancy arising from fibroids.

“Having being refused, the woman, who alongside her partner was in Ireland on a student visa and therefore presumably did not have a lot of money had to spend time raising the necessary funds to travel to Britain. The requirement for her to obtain a visa to travel to Britain would have likewise added to the cost and possibly to the delay of terminating at 20 weeks.

“A question many of us will be asking, and perhaps it will come out in the inquiry is what kind of after care, if any, did she obtain in London.

“I said in the aftermath of the news of Savita Halappanavar’s death last November that it was the government’s strategy to allow the shock and anger of that tragedy dissipate over a number of months to then allow them to introduce the minimal type of legislation which is what panned out. Had this death in London been known to us all even a few weeks ago the whole dynamic of the legislative debate could have been transformed again as the reality of denying women their choice and having no regard for their health as distinct from their life hit home again.

“I am confident that the pro-choice movement in Ireland will be spurred on by this tragic event to carry on the struggle so that deaths like this do not occur again.”

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