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26th May 2017, 12:01:58 UTC

Orla, whose 15-year-old daughter was faced with an unwanted pregnancy in 2015, was given no information about her options, and misinformation about Ireland’s abortion law. She remembers:

“The GP’s attitude was ‘I am so sorry, did you not know she was sexually active? I’ve seen this before.’ That was it. My daughter was crying. It was all ‘there, there, there’; they provided no information. He did not offer crisis pregnancy counselling… I took it upon myself to call the IFPA.”

Orla was concerned that her daughter, already bullied at school, might be at risk of suicide if she did not obtain an abortion. She asked her daughter’s GP for a letter stating that she qualified for an abortion under the PLDPA, which had been in effect for over a year. “He said no, that legislation is not brought in yet. I told him that the new law was in place. He said that he cannot help me with that.”

Orla, who urgently needed to book an appointment for her teenage daughter, remembers:

“We had an appointment on 27-28 February 2015. Because there was a football match in Liverpool, the flights were astronomical, and no hotels. I tried ferries, trains, and literally could not afford it. They moved our dates to the 3-4 March, which made flights €250 compared to €550 on football match day, but they were concerned about the gestational time. The most I could borrow was €400 and with the flight and the hotel it would not be possible. I asked ASN [the Abortion Support Network] for support. My daughter was upset about the cost, she was aware of our financial situation. She was sorry about that… On top of everything else, she should not have to think about this. I was angry that a 15-year-old child would worry about how we are going to pay for this.”

“This has really made me feel like an outcast, that we’ve done something wrong [even though] we did the best we could in horrible circumstances for our daughter. The Church would hate me and the state shuns me.”