After an Irish girl approached her doctor about getting an abortion, a psychiatrist ruled that she was at risk of self-harm and suicide as a result of her pregnancy and had her institutionalized, according to The Child Care Law Reporting Project, an independent organization that monitors Irish childcare proceedings.
Irish reproductive rights advocates “are outraged after a child was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and committed to psychiatric care—all because she asked her doctor for an abortion,” says Kale.
Even Ireland’s strict Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act (PLPDA), reports Sirin Kale, allows for an abortion if a doctor determines that continuing with a pregnancy would pose a suicide risk to a girl or woman. In this case, however, the psychiatrist chose to say that the girl was mentally ill—and to detain her against her will under an entirely different law—the Mental Health Act.
What’s even more disturbing, the girl and her mother believed that they were, in fact, being transferred to Dublin for an abortion procedure. A District Court-appointed guardian described the girl to the judge overseeing her case as “extremely upset,” Kale says.
Ultimately, a second court-appointed psychiatrist concluded that there was “no evidence of a psychological disorder” that could warrant detention, saying, instead, that the girl was depressed and simply very sure that she wanted an abortion.