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UK abortion death raises major questions PLC warn

By Sarah Mac Donald - 23 July, 2013


The Pro Life Campaign has said that the death of an Irish resident just hours after she underwent an abortion at a clinic in London raises very serious questions.

The PLC was responding to the news that British police are investigating the case which concerns the death of a 32-year-old woman who was legally resident in Ireland.

She died just hours after a procedure at a Marie Stopes clinic in the British capital in January last year.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Pro Life Campaign said the tragic death “raises major questions about the safety of abortion for women in addition to the obvious disregard for unborn human life that abortion involves.”

PLC spokesperson, Cora Sherlock, also revealed, “This tragic story is not the first incident of a life-endangering situation involving an Irish woman at a Marie Stopes clinic.”

“In December 2011, Dr Phanuel Dartey was struck off the General Medical Register in Britain for almost killing an Irish woman after performing a botched abortion at the Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing, London.”

The woman who died had no life-threatening condition before the abortion but developed grave complications within hours of the procedure. “It raises very serious questions about the safety of abortion in certain clinics”, Cora Sherlock warned.

“It is disturbing the way some people are trying to use this tragic story to continue the push for abortion in Ireland when it is obvious the focus should be on what happened in the Marie Stopes clinic leading to her death,” she added. 

Offering the PLC’s condolences to the woman’s husband and family over their terrible loss, she concluded by warning that “While official figures suggest that abortion in Britain is relatively safe for women, there have been several reports and incidents recently that challenge this claim.”

Meanwhile, Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald has admitted that she “was extremely shocked” by the case.

“The fact that the woman had left the clinic and started bleeding in a taxi, clearly it’s very important that we hear the outcome of that investigation and understand what were the factors that led to this traumatic and dreadful outcome,” she said.

The woman had sought an abortion at a maternity hospital in Dublin but had been told that it was not legally possible to provide one in this jurisdiction.

Her husband said British police told him that she died of a cardiac arrest due to major blood loss.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he is still waiting for answers but is frustrated at the lack of progress.

Speaking to the Irish Times, he said, “I think if this was an Irish or a British woman, we would know what happened to her. But I am still waiting for answers.”

 By Sarah Mac Donald 

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