A pregnant Irish teenager was thrown into a mental institution after requesting an abortion.
A disturbing report out of Ireland, which is notorious for its controversially restrictive abortion laws, reveals that a pregnant Irish teenager was locked in a psychiatric ward against her will after requesting an abortion.
A psychiatrist evaluated the pregnant girl as suicidal before sending her to Dublin to seemingly perform the abortion, but when the girl and her mom arrived in the Irish capital, the minor was thrown into a psych ward, where she was held for days.
The bizarre incident took place in late 2016 but came to light only now as part of a report published by the Child Care Law Reporting Project on Monday. The teenager’s name and exact age have not been unveiled to the media due to European Union laws, according to CNN.
The report by the organization, which looks into child care proceedings in Irish courts, reveals that the teenage girl and her mom believed they were coming to Dublin for an abortion when the girl was put into a mental health institution instead.
The girl was detained at the facility for an unknown number of days. The disturbing report triggered furious reactions from human rights activists, but this is certainly not the first bizarre incident of such nature in Ireland, whose abortion laws are among the most restrictive in the world.
A controversial eighth amendment to the Constitution, passed in Ireland back in 1983, prohibits abortion even if the mother was raped, fell pregnant by one of her family members (incest), and even in cases of inevitable miscarriage.
The only way an Irish woman can get an abortion is by proving in courts that her life is in immediate danger under the 2014 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act.
The teenage girl, who was thrown into a psych ward for requesting an abortion, could have in theory been able to be granted an abortion under the law, as the psychiatrist who evaluated her assessed her as suicidal.
However, the psychiatrist wrote in his conclusion that the abortion was “not the solution for all the child’s problems at this stage” and invoked a law that places the patient into a mental health institution, even without seeking their permission first.
The Irish teenager was released from the psych ward after being held there for several days after a district court ruled that she “no longer had a mental health disorder.”
The disturbing report has yet again reopened the festering wound of Ireland where women criticize the government for refusing to change the restrictive abortion laws.
The controversial eighth amendment could potentially be on thin ice now that Leo Varadkar has been elected as Prime Minister. While Varadkar promised to hold a referendum on abortion rights in 2018 during his presidential campaign, he wouldn’t be the first politician to not fulfill their campaign promises if no referendum is held next year.
In a statement on Monday, Ireland’s Abortion Rights Campaign lambasted the psychiatrist for “weaponizing” the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act law, which is “supposed to help pregnant people access the care they need.”
Thousands of Irish women travel to the neighboring U.K. every year to receive abortions, as the restrictive abortion laws in Ireland simply do not allow women to terminate a pregnancy.
The bizarre report comes several days after the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) ruled that Ireland’s abortion laws violated the human rights of Siobhan Whelan, who was forced to travel to the U.K. for an abortion after fatal foetal abnormality diagnosis, according to the Irish Times.
It’s unclear what eventually happened to the Irish teenager.
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