Belfast Telegraph

Mother: Eighth Amendment robbed me of right to grieve

Rose Sophia was still-born at a hospital in Liverpool in 2015.

A mother has said the Eighth Amendment robbed her of the right to grieve for her daughter with her family.

Rose Sophia was still-born at a hospital in Liverpool in 2015 and had to be cremated there.

Pro-repeal campaigner Amy Walsh had wanted to bring her baby home to Ireland for a funeral with family.

None of our family got to meet her and this made the whole experience and her loss so much worse Amy Walsh

“The Eight Amendment robbed us of the right to grieve for our daughter with our family.

“None of our family got to meet her and this made the whole experience and her loss so much worse.”

Ms Walsh’s infant had a fatal foetal abnormality.

She said: “Rose Sophia was stillborn in Liverpool.

“I had wanted to bring her body home, so we could have a funeral service with family and friends and I had wanted my family to meet her.

“But she was so tiny and fragile, we were told that she would probably not survive the journey home intact in the car and ferry.

“It was put to us that it would be more respectful to her to have her cremated in Liverpool.”

She addressed an Amnesty International event in Dublin as part of a campaign for a yes vote in next month’s abortion referendum. Five weeks remain.

Save the Eighth, a group which is lobbying against change, said the more people realised the consequences of a yes vote the less likely they are to vote in favour of change.

Spokeswoman and pro-life activist Niamh Ui Bhriain said: “The Irish people do not want abortion on demand. They never have. They never will.

“That is what they are being offered in this referendum, and that is why we are increasingly confident that the 8th amendment will be retained.”

An Irish Times opinion poll has showed the yes vote at 47%.

Once the undecided and the likely non-voters are excluded, the repealers’ lead is calculated at 63% to 37%.

Ms Ui Bhriain added: “Today’s poll is essentially the starting point for the campaign – with five weeks to go, most voters are only beginning to turn their attention to the referendum, and as they do so, the Yes vote continues to slide, and is now, significantly, below 50%.

“On a historical basis, this is an extremely strong position for any No campaign to be in.”

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