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Media ignores happy ending for "suicidal girl denied abortion"

12 July 2017

 
The mother is now taking care of her baby at home, supported by her family.

An Irish girl who was reportedly sectioned under the mental health act after requesting an abortion in fact gave birth to the baby and is looking after it at home - but the media has gone strangely quiet on this story.

In June, the Irish press was full of the story of a suicidal girl who was sectioned after her her psychiatrist ruled that it was 'not the solution' to her problems. The implication was that the girl was committed to a psychiatric unit because the doctor objected to abortion, and was clearly being used as an argument for changing the law and repealing the Eighth Amendment. The 2013 Protection of Life in Pregnancy Act allows abortion when the woman is deemed to be suicidal or at risk of loss of life from physical illness. (The measure was passed despite all the medical experts in a special hearing of a government committee convened to examine the legislation agreeing that abortion is NOT a treatment where a pregnant mother is in distress and is contemplating suicide.)

Both alive and well

However, last week, more facts about the case emerged. The Irish Independent revealed that a panel of experts, convened under the abortion legislation, concluded the teenager should have a termination as she was suicidal (psychiatrists working under the Mental Health Act disagreed). However, she gave birth three weeks later, and the baby is living with the mother and her family. She was almost 25 weeks pregnant by the time the abortion was permitted, but as the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Act has no time limit, it can be assumed she chose to keep the baby. The Independent also conveys that the mother developed a close bond with the doctor who went on to deliver the baby.

Radio silence

No other news source seems to have reported this happy ending to the story. As David Quinn writes in an opinion piece,  "you would imagine the rest of the media would pick up on it, especially given the huge interest they had in the story when the first details emerged. But no. They ignored it."

He asks: "So why didn't they report it? It is because of the positive outcome of the story, the pro-life outcome of the story? Was it ideologically inconvenient?"

A pro-life story

Perhaps the media didn't report this story because it is an example of how well laws protecting both mother and baby work. As Quinn says, "it is a pro-life story in the best sense of that term. The mother's life mattered, and the baby's life mattered as well. Doctors saved both and looked after both."

News in brief:

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