The Independent reports on a new and controversial case in Ireland in which a woman was refused an abortion under Ireland’s new abortion laws and that her baby was subsequently prematurely delivered at 25 weeks by Caesarean section.
According to some reports the woman was a foreign national, an asylum seeker, who was already pregnant when she arrived in Ireland in April. The termination took place in the second trimester of the pregnancy resulting in the baby being born at 25 weeks.
The woman who is reported to have sought an abortion under the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, 2013 claimed to be suicidal and was assessed by a panel of experts as set out in the legislation.
The panel of experts apparently differed on the question of abortion as the child had already reached viability, resulting in a decision to deliver the baby by caesarean section.
It has also been reported that the Bishop of Elphin, Kevin Doran, whilst agreeing that it is better that the child is still alive has raised pertinent questions about the consequences of the early delivery of the baby
He told the Irish Independent: "The removal of a child from the womb in that kind of context is really unethical and there is no other way of putting it. It was far better that the child was removed from the womb to be saved than to be aborted, but it is not natural."
The Master of the Rotunda Hospital, Sam Coulter Smith said the baby will face enormous’ health challenges and has just a 20-30pc chance of growing up without any health issues.
“I think the challenges are enormous. A baby born at 24 or 25 weeks is going to spend a long period of time in neonatal intensive care”, he told Sean O’Rourke on Radio One this morning.
He also commented on the likely cost to the health service which he said would probably be in the order of €60-90k,
The baby according to Smith will probably stay for 15 or 16 weeks in intensive care. “Most of these babies will survive, 80-90pc of them will survive. - but only 20 -30 pc will have intact survival.” He added that many of the babies will grow up with significant health problems.