As Jessica notes, the horrific ordeal shows how inadequate even this small exemption to the country’s strict anti-choice law really is. A member of Ireland’s Doctors for Choice said, “We predicted it would be a bad law, that it was going to be trouble and quickly that’s been proven.” Part of the problem is that the law requires examination of the pregnant person’s mental state by up to seven different doctors, a process which will “not only be overly invasive, confusing and distressing emotionally, it will also be time-consuming.”
It’s also probably no coincidence that this young women, like Halappanavar, is an immigrant. While middle-class Irish citizens can often go to England to end their pregnancies, poor women — who lack the funds — and immigrant women — who lack the papers to easily travel — are often out of luck. The young woman might have been able to get authorization to travel to England under the law and advocates are demanding to know if she was informed of her rights.
As Sarah McCarthy, a spokesperson for Galway Pro-Choice, says, the case “illustrates quite clearly that women are treated as little more than incubators under Irish law.”