Amy Dunne on her lonely, harrowing abortion fight: 'I was told I would be done for murder'
At 17, Dunne was pregnant with a baby who had a fatal abnormality. She was given a pseudonym and became the focus of a landmark Irish legal case – but now she is reclaiming her story
Thu 5 Dec 2019
The week Amy Dunne turned 17, she was several months pregnant and made two discoveries – one devastating and the other incomprehensible. A hospital scan showed something badly wrong in her womb. The foetus had anencephaly, a fatal abnormality. Doctors said the baby, a girl, would die soon after birth.
Although she was living in foster care and still a child herself, Dunne had looked forward to becoming a mother and building a new life with her boyfriend. Distraught, she shared the news with her social workers and said she needed to travel to Britain from Ireland for an abortion. That’s when Dunne discovered something badly wrong in her country.
I Shouldn’t Be Forced to Give Birth to a Baby Who Won’t Live
Our baby had a fatal birth defect. My federal health insurance plan refused to cover the abortion.
By Sarah E. Levin
July 3, 2019
When I was 20 weeks pregnant, I and my husband learned during a routine ultrasound that our baby had not developed a major portion of her brain and never would. The condition, anencephaly, a type of neural tube defect that also stunts the growth of the skull, is terminal. If carried to term, our baby would be very unlikely to survive for more than a few hours.
One in 1,000 fetuses have this condition. We had no warning signs. No indications. No idea this was coming. This was a baby we had planned for. Just three weeks earlier we had told our 5-year-old daughter that she would soon have a baby sister. We returned home from the hospital that day and had to tell her that her sister was not coming any more. It was the first time she saw me sobbing, unable to speak.
On Abortion in the Context of Malta: a Medical Doctor’s Perspective
April 3, 2019
Illustrations by the author
It is extremely important to differentiate between being anti-abortion at an individual level and being anti-legalising-abortion (anti-choice), a distinction that is often overlooked. It is perfectly reasonable and respectable for individuals who would never have an abortion themselves to be pro-choice.
At the heart of every debate on abortion are its scientific, moral, social, psychological and medical aspects. They all play a crucial role in formulating an opinion and taking a stance on the issue.
Woman tweets her journey from Northern Ireland to Liverpool to have an abortion after she was told her baby won’t survive
Tuesday 23 Oct 2018
A woman has tweeted the story of her heartbreaking journey from Northern Ireland to get an abortion in Liverpool after doctors told her that her baby has a rare birth defect that means it would die soon after birth.
Abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland, except when there is a ‘real and serious’ physical or mental health risk to the mother. There are no exceptions for cases of fatal foetal abnormality, meaning mothers must carry their baby to full-term and give birth, even if they know it will not survive.
Court: Medics fear life imprisonment over restrictive NI abortion laws
Friday, October 05, 2018
Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws have left medics fearing life imprisonment, a court heard.
They have had a chilling effect on doctors, a lawyer for a woman forced to travel to England for a termination for a fatal foetal abnormality said.
Fresh legal challenge lodged against abortion laws in Northern Ireland
Monday, October 01, 2018
A fresh legal challenge against Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws has been mounted.
Sarah Ewart is applying for a judicial review, seeking a declaration of incompatibility with human rights law in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities.
Five years ago, Ms Ewart travelled from Northern Ireland for a termination in England after a 20-week scan revealed her baby had anencephaly, which meant its brain and skull had not developed and it would either die before being born or shortly afterwards.
Presidential Candidates Need to Heed Abortion Debate
September 24, 2018
Margaret Wurth, Senior Researcher, Children's Rights Division
Activists around the world will mark the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion on September 28. Like several other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Brazil is in the midst of a vigorous public debate around abortion following a recent Supreme Court hearing on the issue. Brazil’s criminal code still severely restricts access to legal abortion. But the fact that the issue is being discussed openly, including in the presidential campaign, and that women are coming forward to share their stories of ending a pregnancy, is already a significant step forward.
Under the criminal code in Brazil, abortion is illegal except in cases of rape, when necessary to save a woman’s life, or when the fetus suffers from anencephaly – a fatal congenital brain disorder. Activists have fought for years to ease the country’s abortion restrictions, citing evidence that criminal penalties do nothing to reduce abortion, but instead lead women to risk their health and lives to terminate pregnancies clandestinely.
Ipas’s Bia Galli attended Brazil’s historic Supreme Court hearing on abortion
In this Q&A, she shares why it was so important and what comes next
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
In an historic two-day hearing before Brazil’s Supreme Court last week, experts presented arguments and evidence regarding the question of whether abortion should be made legal up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. Currently abortion is a crime in Brazil—except after rape, if a woman’s life is in danger, or if the fetus has a fatal brain condition called anencephaly. As a result, thousands of women and girls each year resort to clandestine, often unsafe abortions that risk their health and lives.
Bia Galli, Ipas’s senior policy and advocacy consultant based in Brazil, attended the two-day hearing. Here she talks about its historic significance, the rise of the conservative opposition movement in Brazil, and what’s next for abortion rights advocates.
Professor forced into hiding by death threats over Brazil abortion hearing
Campaigner involved in case that could lead to legal abortion in first 12 weeks of pregnancy enters protection programme
Dom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro
Thu 2 Aug 2018
Days before a Brazilian supreme court hearing on a move that could eventually decriminalise abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, a leading feminist campaigner is in hiding after receiving death threats.
Debora Diniz, a professor of anthropology at the University of Brasília, who helped bring the legal action with bioethics institute Anis, is sequestered in an unknown location but will still appear at the two-day hearing, which starts on Friday.
Brazil: Decriminalize Abortion
Court Considering Petition to Expand Access
July 31, 2018
(São Paulo) – Brazil’s abortion laws are incompatible with its human rights obligations, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a video about the issue. Human Rights Watch will speak at a public hearing on August 3 and 6, 2018, as part of a Supreme Court case challenging the criminalization of abortion in Brazil in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Human Rights Watch will urge the court to consider Brazil’s obligations under international law in reaching its ruling.
Abortion is legal in Brazil only in cases of rape, when necessary to save a woman’s life, or when the fetus suffers from anencephaly – a fatal congenital brain disorder. Women and girls who terminate pregnancies under any other circumstances face up to three years in prison.