Irish Examiner Thursday May 10th 2007.
Pro-Choice View/ Cornelia Lucey
PRO-CHOICE campaigners yesterday waited with baited breath to hear the outcome of yesterday's ruling in the Miss D case. Finally just before 3pm, High Court Judge Liam McKechnie confirmed that the 17-year-old had been given her choice.
'She's been let go' said Dr Mary Muldowney from the pro-abortion group, Alliance for Choice.
'I hope they stop this nonsence. How many more women will have to go through this trauma?'
'Most people now believe abortion is acceptable in certain cases. Why has the Government failed to respond and legislate for this so that Irish women can have abortions safely and legally in a hospital here?'
'Irish women who are not in a financial position to travel for abortions are the biggest losers. We will now be asking politicians and seek legal protection for these women'
Legal Opinion / Claire O'Sullivan
UCC constitutional law expert Dr Conor O'Mahony says the High Court decision did not break new ground but clarified how the HSE did not need to go to the courts to get permission to allow the 17-year-old travel. Dr O'Mahony believes that the Child Care Act clearly outlines how the HSE has the power of a parent, once a child is in their care.
'The immediate consequence of the ruling is is that Miss D can travel and that if a similar case arises, it is now clear that this right to travel, which is available to all, can not be undermined because you are in care and not suicidal' he said.
'Basically the HSE had the power all along but for some strange reason, decided to pass the decision upwards. The High Court decision yesterday just re-affirmed that.'
Pro-Life View / Evelyn Ring
PRO-LIFE group Youth Defence has claimed Miss D is being used by the pro-abortion lobby to further their agenda. Spokesman Eoghan De Faoite said the HSE had brought a number of girls in their care to England for abortions in the past. But, he said, shortly before a general election a girl was prevented from travelling and the issue ended up in the High Court.
'You have to but wonder whether or not this is some political decision from within the HSE to try and challenge Ireland's abortion laws,' he said.
The Pro-Life Campaign and the HSE had a duty to ensure the girl was made aware of the long-term negative effects of abortion on some women. The group's medical adviser, Dr Berry Kiely, said the case should be a reminder society was obliged to ensure every support is in place so no woman felt abortion was the only option.