Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Oddities of Irish Life

Here's a story (well, more to the point, the satisfactory conclusion of a story): A 17 year of teenager in the Republic of Ireland sued to be allowed to leave the country in order to have an abortion in the UK. The Republic of Ireland is, in case you don't know, a fairly conservative, Catholic country. It has some of the most stringent abortion rules in Europe. The teenager in question tried to have an abortion in Ireland, thru the country's national health service. Well, this is not just your average abortion where a teenager tries to have a termination of pregnancy due to some accident that happened during sexual intercourse. Prenatal tests showed that the newborn would suffer from anencephaly. Newborns with that condition don't live for longer than three days after birth, due to the fact that a large part of the brain and skull is missing. The girl did not want to subject herself and the newborn to that ordeal and requested an abortion. This was denied by the Irish national health service. She then tried to do what many Irish women having abortions do, she tried to escape the country's draconian regulations and tried to have her termination of pregnancy in the UK. However, being under age the national health service ordered her not to leave the country.
The BBC reports today that 'The High Court has now ruled there were no statutory or constitutional grounds for preventing the teenager, known only as Miss D in court, from travelling to the UK for the operation.'
It seems reassuring that there are some sensible people left in that country. I mean, what's the point of carrying a foetus to term that has no life prospects whatsoever. Why would anyone wish to subject a pregnant teenager to the ordeal of having to have the baby in order to see it die within a few days? How could religious dogma initially be permitted to take priority over respect for the difficult choice this young woman made?

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