Column: ‘Forcing us to leave Ireland was an insult to our love for our baby’,  11.1.2013 by Amanda Mellet

Fatal foetal abnormalities must be a part of any abortion legislation, writes Amanda Mellet. Forcing women in this situation to travel deprives them of the respect they deserve.

THIS WEEK HAS seen the Oireachtas Health Committee holding three days of meetings in which it heard from medical experts, professionals, religious organisations, and campaign groups on the issue of abortion in Ireland.
The Committee follows on from the Expert Group’s Report to the Government, belatedly published in at the end of November 2012, which outlined the legal options for the Irish Government in light of the European Court of Human Rights rulings in the ABC cases, of which C pertained to a woman’s life being at risk in pregnancy. It has shamefully taken twenty years, but it seems we are finally seeing a real commitment by the government to act; sadly hastened on by the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar.

I am greatly saddened and shocked that it seemed to take the death of a young, vibrant woman to wake up the nation to the deadly cost of inaction. Legislation which will allow medical professionals to act when a woman’s life is in danger without fear of impunity is finally forthcoming, However, that does not mean that their work should end there. Other medical issues, such as termination in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities should be considered now as well.
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