Ann O'Loughlin The Irish Independent Thursday May 10th 2007.
THE judge who has ruled that the teenager at the centre of the latest abortion controversy can travel to the UK for a termination yesterday praised her courage.
Mr Justice Liam McKechnie said Miss D had received devastating news about the health of the baby she was carrying when she went for a scan while 16-weeks pregnant. He said she had made a sound moral judgment.
She could, Judge McKechnie said, have stayed mute and travelled or she could have committed perjury by claiming she had suicidal tendencies.
Miss D, he said, was determined to seek a resolution and she had shown courage, integrity and determination.
The decision that she can travel to the UK for an abortion, the judge reminded the packed courtroom, is not the end of Miss D's ordeal.
He said she would now have to book a cheap flight and travel for a termination. The teenager would have to deal with other matters afterwards.
Referring to the incident at the family home which led to the granting of the interim care order after Miss D ended up in hospital, Judge McKechnie said it would be unfair to speculate on what it might have been. Miss D was blameless.
If matters continued as they were now, a recurrence was most unlikely, he said, and later stated that Miss D's mother had supported her daughter's decision and had been with her in court. Her father had been absent from her life.
Miss D had gone for a scan on April 23, her seventeenth birthday, and it had tragically confirmed that the foetus she was carrying was suffering from an abnormality.
There was no cranial vault and, as Miss D had stated, she could see no head. The judge said the discovery was unimaginably traumatic.