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Dublin: 14 °C Friday 19 July, 2019
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Emotional plea for change: ‘Wrap your arms around us…don’t kick us out’

Watch some of the women from Terminations for Medical Reasons share their stories about travelling abroad for treatment.

http://youtu.be/zX3BS3c_LPs

(YouTube: SineadOCarrollTJ)

AMANDA MELLET AND Ruth Bowie, two members of the support group Terminations for Medical Reasons, shared their emotional pleas for a change in Ireland’s laws at a press briefing in Dublin this afternoon.

Both women, who shared their personal experiences of losing a much-wanted child, urged the government to ensure that women carrying unviable pregnancies can receive treatment in their home country.

Amanda Mellet is filing a petition to the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee claiming a violation of her human rights as a result of the gap in treatment following a diagnosis in 2011.

Ruth Bowie intends to file a further petition at a later date.

(YouTube: SineadOCarrollTJ)

A third woman, Siobhán Murphy, will also file a petition to the same committee early next year.

She also told reporters of the hours following her diagnosis.

“I had to dig for information,” she said. “I wasn’t given a number, a name or a hospital. I rang crisis pregnancy agencies for help but they weren’t able to. Eventually I went back to Holles Street and was told that they ‘hear good reports about Liverpool Women’s Hospital’.”

The Centre for Reproductive Rights and TFMR are filing the petitions on behalf of the women.

About 1,500 cases of fatal foetal abnormalities are reported each year in Ireland with about 80 per cent of the women travelling abroad for early inducement or terminations. Members of TFMR were devastated of the omission from the legislation this year but vowed to take their cases to Europe and beyond.

A number of politicians, including Clare Daly, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Catherine Murphy, Mick Wallace, Richard Boyd-Barrett, Catherine Murphy, Ivana Bacik, Joan Collins and Ciara Conway, turned out in support of the group today.

Another member of the group Arlette Lyons warned the government that they were not going to to “give up”.

“Don’t be embarrassed into doing something,” she said. “Do the right thing now.”

TFMR continues to meet and offer support to women whose babies have been diagnosed with fatal foetal abnormalities. The group’s website can be found here. They be reached by email: tfmrireland@gmail.com. Support group Leanbh mo Chroi can also be found on Facebook, or contacted by email at leanbhmochroi@gmail.com or by telephone on 086 747 4746.

A separate group offering support to parents is One Day More and can be contacted at onedaymorefamilies@gmail.com

Related: “Amanda would have been forced to carry to term, fearing every minute”

Read: Women who travelled to UK for terminations to bring case to United Nations>

Explainer: What will Ireland’s new abortion law change?

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