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Thursday 2 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland The IFPA office in Dublin city centre
# Abortion
IFPA says the State is to blame for cases like Miss Y
The head of the IFPA says the recent abortion law needs to be repealed.

IN A POINTED criticism over the recent Miss Y case, the Irish Family Planning Association has said the State is to blame for the ‘shambles’ of Ireland’s abortion law.

In an opinion piece published on TheJournal.ie this morning, chief executive Niall Behan said women who are pregnant and seeking asylum in Ireland find themselves “at the intersection of two state systems that deny them basic human dignity: the direct provision system and the law on abortion”.

Without specifically mentioning the recent controversial Miss Y case, where a young asylum seeker had a Caesarean section under the new law after seeking an abortion, Behan said the Irish Constitution needs to be changed to repeal two articles to clarify the situation for women and girls seeking abortions.

He writes that under the current law, the IFPA cannot make an appointment on a woman’s behalf or give her financial assistance. Instead, there are a number of NGOs and health service providers “almost entirely reliant on the goodwill and conscientious commitment of individuals”.

“And it is on these shaky and impermanent supports that the State relies to ensure that women can exercise their right to travel out of Ireland for an abortion,” he says.

There is no institutionalist system of state supports. Instead, there is a shambles, entirely of the State’s creation, an appalling derogation by the State of its duty to ensure women’s dignity and human rights.

He points to the difficulties for asylum seekers who need to travel to another jurisdiction but faces becoming “mired in paperwork” as well as costs “amounting to multiples of her weekly allowance of €19.10.”

He also cites the difficulties in getting an interpreter, if necessary, as well as the burder of organising and paying for the abortion.

“Some support is available for the costs of travel and accommodation. Some abortion clinics in the UK may sometimes waive their fees where a woman has no means to pay.

“But at each step, the woman or girl must expose a deeply personal and private situation to strangers”.

Read: Ireland’s law on abortion is a shambles entirely of the State’s creation > 

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