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Government continues to fail women and girls - O'Reilly

12 June, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Speaking his morning Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has described as shocking the revelations that at the end of last year a vulnerable young pregnant girl who had requested termination was instead falsely sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

Deputy O’Reilly said;

“This morning’s revelations that a young girl who had requested a termination when she reported feeling suicidal due to an unwanted pregnancy was instead falsely imprisoned under the mental Health Act, are shocking. 

“It is reported that throughout the sequence of events the girl was detained and her mother, who was supporting her daughter, was lied to and misled that she was being transferred to Dublin for a termination when in reality she was being falsely detained under the mental health act.

"All patients in Ireland have the right to access the medical treatment they feel is most appropriate for them within the confines of best practice and the law. Currently, the law allows terminations in limited circumstances for a person whose life is at risk due to suicidal impulses due to an unwanted pregnancy.

“This was what was legislated for in the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013.

“While there are unique elements to this case given that the patient was child, the evidence available points to the guardian being fully supportive of the patient’s decision to seek a termination and was instead deliberately lied to and misled that a termination was going to be provided.

“The situation itself echoes that of Amanda Mellet’s case when the United Nations Human Rights Committee ruled last summer that the state had failed Ms Mellet and she had suffered ‘discrimination’ and ‘cruel and inhuman or degrading treatment’ due to Ireland’s ban on abortion, and required that the Government offer her compensation, counselling and also recommended a change to the law to repeal the eighth amendment.

“This case is another shocking example of the draconian edge of the Irish state when it comes to women and women’s reproductive rights. Failure to repeal the eighth amendment and enact the appropriate legislation will only serve to perpetuate the unacceptable situation for women and girls.”

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