The case of an Irish girl travelling to the UK for an abortion has come under Garda investigation.
Gardai and Tusla officials are investigating after a 12-year-old girl underwent a termination in the UK the past year. Officers are seeking DNA from the foetus to confirm the age of the father in order to rule out any abuse, The Sunday Times reports.
The case of the 12-year-old was notified by the UK clinic to the Child and Family Agency, Tusla, who have the role of intervening if there are any concerns about the child’s safety or welfare.
The case has been described as ‘deeply saddening’ by those campaigning for a repeal of the eighth amendment.
Sinead Redmond of Parents for Choice told the Irish Mirror that such incidences should be treated as a “private decision for each family”.
She said: “Although we do not know the exact circumstances of this girl’s story, it is deeply saddening that such a vulnerable person could not get the care she deserved at home.”
Lisa Keogh Finnegan, also with Parents for Choice, said: “We all have kids and it is so hard to imagine a young girl being sent away to have healthcare elsewhere.
“A few of our membership have daughters of her age. We need to look after the children we have – she is only 12. You can’t ask a 12-year-old to carry a pregnancy,” she told the Irish Independent.
Representatives of the Pro-Life Campaign have said this case could not warrant an abortion.
“There isn’t any reason to believe that an abortion, a traumatic experience, would help her,” Spokesperson Cora Sherlock told the paper.
Ms Sherlock said: “In the past, campaigners for abortion have shamelessly exploited cases like this for one reason only – to make abortion widely available.”
The Irish referendum on the Eighth Amendment is expected to be held in May 2018. The Dail is returning to discuss the upcoming vote today.