Abortion ban in Northern Ireland likely to worsen mental health crisis
June 20, 2018
Karen Galway and Sharon Mallon
Northern Ireland is one of only two regions in Europe where abortion effectively remains illegal (Malta being the other). This is a confirmed breach of human rights – one that threatens to deepen the mental health crisis of women in Northern Ireland.
Abortion is not allowed in Northern Ireland unless the life of the mother is in danger. There is no access to abortion in cases of rape or fatal foetal abnormality. Under the current law, woman have to declare suicidal intent in order for abortion to be permitted.
Suicidal women struggle to get second opinion when seeking an abortion
Expert teams are not always available when assessment needed
January 26 2018
Concerns have emerged at senior HSE levels about the failure to always secure a psychiatrist to give a second opinion in cases where a pregnant woman is seeking an abortion on the grounds she is suicidal.
An internal document said in some cases it has meant the two psychiatrists and obstetrician, who are required under law to make an assessment in such cases, cannot be found.