The young woman at the centre of the latest abortion controversy has said she wanted to die than bear her rapist’s child.
In an interview with the Irish Times, the woman spoke of how she was raped in her home country before she came to Ireland. She found out she was pregnant during a routine medical check.
“In my culture it a great shame to be pregnant if not married,” said the woman who claimed she attempted to take her own life but was interrupted by another party.
The young woman had sought an abortion under Section 9 of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, 2013 as she claimed to be suicidal.
A panel of three experts, two of which were psychiatrists, determined her life was at risk as she had suicidal thoughts, and assessed her application.
The consultant obstetrician on the panel said the baby could be delivered as it was far enough into the pregnancy, and the Caesarean was carried out between 23 and 25 weeks.
“They said the pregnancy was too far. It was going to have to be a Caesarean section... They said, wherever you go in the world, the United States, anywhere, at this point it has to be a Caesarean,” she told the Irish Times.
“I would have preferred an abortion.”
Following the abortion refusal, the young woman became so distressed that she went on hunger and thirst strike. The HSE went to the High Court to get a care order to prevent her from starving herself.
It is understood that she is currently receiving psychiatric care and has had no contact with her child, who still remains in a neonatal ward in hospital.
“When I came to this country I thought I could forget suffering... The scar [from the C-section] will never go away. It will always be a reminder. I still suffer. I don’t know if what has happened to me is normal,” the woman said.
“I just wanted justice to be done. For me, this is injustice.”
Yesterday, the HSE launched an investigation into what medical care was given to the woman between her first request for an abortion and the date that her baby was delivered.