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Dublin: 12 °C Saturday 1 November, 2014

Man seeks to stop girlfriend travelling abroad for abortion over ‘duress’ fears

The man says he believes his girlfriend is being forced by her family to travel abroad for an abortion against her will.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Updated 9.49pm

A MAN WENT to the High Court earlier today over his fear that his pregnant girlfriend is being forced by her family to travel abroad for an abortion against her will.

The court heard this afternoon that the man does not wish to stop the woman from traveling for a termination if it is her own choice and she is not under duress.

Lawyers representing the man said that the woman involved is under “huge pressure”.

“Indications to us are that the defendant wishes to go ahead with the pregnancy,” Seamus Ó Tuathail told the court. He suggested that the woman may be able to speak with a forensic psychiatrist to make it clear what her wishes are.

Upon finding out that the woman involved does not have legal representation, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy said it would be “wholly appropriate” for her to receive legal advice. The judge adjourned the case until 11am on Friday to allow time for this to take place.

The woman and her boyfriend sat beside each other at the back of the court this afternoon as the application was discussed. None of her family members were present.

Ó Tuathial said that the case was “essentially a factual issue” and said that his client “does not have any desire to restrain the defendant from travelling.”

At the resumption of the hearing this afternoon Ms Justice Laffoy ruled that the people cannot be identified due to the nature of the case.

- Additional reporting Hugh O’Connell

First published 3.09pm

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