‘I Was Told To Fake A Miscarriage’

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Ellen Coyne, in the Ireland edition of The Times, writes:

A mother of two who was pregnant with a baby suffering from a fatal foetal abnormality claims that she was advised to travel to Britain to undergo the first part of a termination before travelling home and faking a miscarriage.

Sarah, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, said she was told to travel to a British hospital to have an injection that would stop her baby’s heart, before returning to Ireland and saying that she believed that she had miscarried.

However, her consultant allegedly declined to confirm that Sarah would be cared for on her return home when contacted by British doctors.

Sarah described her experience as “horrific” and said that she was forced to travel to Britain twice before finally having a termination at almost 24 weeks. She ended up having to smuggle her son’s body home in the back of her car and then became seriously ill with sepsis.

When I came back to Ireland I was to present myself at [the hospital] with lack of movement. I was not supposed to tell them what I had done. I had to play out this drama; what’s our story? What’s the lie I have to keep up?” Sarah said.

“They were going to scan me, they were going to tell me that they were very sorry, that the baby had passed away. I was not to let on that I had had a feticide injection, and then I was supposed to be induced and deliver.”

“…Three consultant obstetricians have separately confirmed to The Times that they were aware of other Irish hospitals telling women they can go to England for the first half of a termination.”

One said that consultants who told women about the practice could face legal action if they were seen to be taking part in the second half of an illegal abortion.”

Woman in fatal foetal abnormality case speaks out about ‘horrific experience’ (The Times)

Sarah’s story (The Times)

Sarah’s story:activists demand change to law (The Times)

Willingness to travel for termination proves law is failing (Ellen Coyne, The Times, opinion)

90 thoughts on “‘I Was Told To Fake A Miscarriage’

    1. Huh?

      Not even that unfortunately, we’re past that point. It’s a matter of time and a lot of unnecessary additional suffering before we fix this so we really need to hurry up.

    2. newsjustin

      No. Just for a majority to agree that the right of a foetus to life can be ignored if they’re very ill. That and the political will to implement the referendum and legislation necessary.

    3. ollie

      “Will it take a women dying to force a change?”
      No, any amount of women can die and this won’t be changed by Fine Gael. In fact, I’m fairly sure that women have already died as a result of this. Don’t forget that Ireland is the master of coverups.

      it will take a change of government to force a change. Kenny and his parish pump colleagues won’t dare offend Bridie and Maggie lest it costs them votes.

      1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

        I meant more specifically from the process described above but yeah

  1. postmanpat

    Sure what can you do? It’s a Catholic country. That reminds me, must get out to the shops this weekend and buy the young-fella a cute rigout for his first holy communion. Did ya see celeb big brother last night?. I recon yer man will get voted out tonight….

  2. Markskids

    What am I missing here? Why not just have the termination and all required care in the UK? Surely the advice given to this woman put her at more risk than she needed to be at.

      1. Markskids

        I agree but it’s not what I was asking, just seems reckless at best to tell a woman to have half an abortion in the UK and return here in god knows what kind of emotional state to play cloak and daggers.

        I totally agree this should not have to be the case , but surely this should not be the alternative.

        1. Kieran NYC

          I don’t think you’re allowed to bring the fetus home if you have your (full) abortion in the UK.

    1. Huh?

      My guess is because women have lives and responsibilities to return to, additional expenses they don’t need or want to occur and that the UK won’t automatically provide the treatment and care that they can and should receive at home.

      As an aside, what would we do if the over burdened NHS decided it no longer wanted to subsidise our politically difficult issues?

      1. missred

        But it’s not their NHS that Irish women use – we’re not eligible for that if you aren’t a resident. It costs so much because you go over there as a private patient. However you do have a bit of a point about capacity, Liverpool Women’s Hospital (the main specialist place for compassionate and professional care for fatal foetal abnormalities) has said in the past that it has had to turn down Irish women because they cannot accommodate them due to space.

        1. meadowlark

          That is so sad.How is it we have allowed this to continue? This should not be their job. We should have our own dedicated centres where women dealing with FFA can make their decision in a compassionate and supportive place. The patch-job legislation that has been introduced is not cutting it.

  3. meadowlark

    Jesus lads I’ve just had breakfast.

    On a more serious note, I know a woman, a family member, who was advised similarly following a diagnosis of FFA . This is just another one of those dirty little secrets which has been there for more time than we’d care to admit.

    1. newsjustin

      Most legislation in Ireland is based, however distantly, on basic Judeo Christian teachings and the teachings that influenced those. I don’t think abortion is mentioned much in the Bible though. So, I guess, you’re suggesting that Ireland’s laws are based on the “Thou shall not kill” commandment. Are you really suggesting not killing people is a strand we should remove from our legal system?

      1. Sothere

        Numbers 5:16-22

        “ ‘The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the LORD.
        17 Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water.
        18 After the priest has had the woman stand before the LORD, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder-offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse.
        19 Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, “If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you.
        20 But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband”—
        21 here the priest is to put the woman under this curse—“may the LORD cause you to become a curse among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell.
        22 May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries.” “ ‘Then the woman is to say, “Amen. So be it.”

        http://www.biblestudytools.com/numbers/passage/?q=numbers+5:16-22

      2. Junkface

        Really? Thats what you got from what I said? Sweet weepin Jesus!

        I obviously meant that Ireland having laws that obey Catholicism connected to a book written so long ago is ridiculous. Especially in the 21st Century.

        You Nitpicking tool!

        1. newsjustin

          Ah, so it has nothing to do with the book, like you mentioned.

          So is it all laws that the RCC views positively that you dislike?

          1. nellyb

            RCC views are their own. They can hunt the believers, but have no business with the rest. Their followers still go to UK though. One would assume the priests are not persuasive enough.

      3. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

        Babies less than a month aren’t considered people in the Bible. Especially girl babies.

        “Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them. And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD. — Numbers 3:15-16”

        The Bible also has some good bloody bits about killing the women and young babies of your enemies and the children of whores.

        1. newsjustin

          So we’re agreed. We should use a heavy edit button when it comes to taking advice on society from the Old Testament.

          1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            You’re the one basing your politics on a book that includes such charming anecdotes as buying slaves and marrying your rapist. You can’t pick and choose which bits you follow and which you don’t. Either all of it is truth or all of it is a lie.

          2. newsjustin

            Where have I ever indicated that I “base my politics” on the Bible or the teaching of any religion?

            That’s a typical, lazy assumption made by some people, like you, when they find themselves challenged by someone who isn’t pro-choice on abortion.

          3. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            Oh, I don’t know, all of your comments and your constant mentions of the bible and the Church and Judeo-Christian teachings might have given me a clue

          4. MoyestWithExcitement

            “That’s a typical, lazy assumption made by some people, like you, when they find themselves challenged by someone who isn’t pro-choice on abortion.”

            Your position certainly isn’t based in science, anyway. It’s based on morality. Your own personal morality. You’ve already claimed that legislation is based on ‘Judeo Christian teachings’.

          5. newsjustin

            Try reading more broadly Don, especially on matters that you dislike/disapprove of/offend you, it broadens ones mind. You might then be able to add to such discussions too. Challenge yourself.

          6. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            As in how you challenge yourself by not replying to questions that you don’t like? lol ok mate

          7. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            You want me to point out your own game plan? OK.

            Go back to any of the threads about schools or abortion or whatever. See the bit where make some disingenuous claim about something (generally Church related tbh), which someone pulls you up on and then you suddenly disappear from the conversation? You don’t even stand up for your own convictions. What a waste of time eh?

          8. newsjustin

            So which questions didn’t I answer Don?

            I thought it was me who didn’t answer questions……yet you’re doing everything but answer mine.

          9. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            My answer where I point it out isn’t an answer.

            Good luck sh** for brains.

        2. newsjustin

          If you make a claim, be prepared to back it up Don.

          The irony is delicious and hilarious. Don claims I avoid answering tough questions. When asked which tough questions she avoids answering.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            You asked about her claim that your opinions are based in religion. I pointed out that you claimed our legislation is based in Judeo Christian teachings. You didn’t address that. Just FYI.

          2. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            Yeah, I have. You’re just ignoring it. Which is what you do. Thereby proving my point. Repeat ad nauseam.

            I’m sure you’ll twist this comment to your advantage because that’s what you do as well because again, that’s what you do. Small victories for a small man eh? Enjoy.

          3. newsjustin

            Moyest. Your’s was a comment not a question. A fairly self contained expression of your view, but not a hint of a question in sight. You’re as crazy as Don if you expect people to respond to every comment when it’s not even a question.

            Don. You can end the cycle (which you started with your groundless claim) by telling me which question I’ve deliberately ignored because I didn’t like it. As a bonus, I’ll even promise to answer that question right here for you.

            But you won’t. Because you can’t. Because you’re a mud-slinger who was just hoping some of it would stick.

          4. MoyestWithExcitement

            You asked a question, I provided an answer, you ignored it. Par for the course with yourself.

          5. newsjustin

            So now I have to respond to all comments, even if they’re not questions? I’m going to be busy!

            Found a question yet Don??

          6. MoyestWithExcitement

            You don’t have to do anything. Don made the comment that you ignore things people say if it damages your argument. You challenged her to find an example, Earlier, in this very thread, you challenged her to provide evidence your opinions are religious. I did. You ignored it thus adding credence to Don’s claims. You can do what you like, I’m just pointing that out.

          7. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            I’ll summarise a few shall I?

            My question is why would you be so cruel to people, so lacking in empathy? Would you have the balls to stand in front of this woman and say everything that you say here about abortion to her face? Or the face of the women who died of cancer because they wouldn’t treat her because she was pregnant? Or the family of the woman ahjaysis talked about above? Or the young women who had to GOT TO COURT to seek a procedure that she wanted and consented to? Would you stand there and tell them no?

            Is there something wrong with you? I mean people might be against abortion but still think that in this circumstance, actually, its fine. I can see it would be hard for her and I don’t want her to go through that because we have the means to make life easier.

            Give me something new here news.

          8. newsjustin

            No she didn’t Don. You’re wrong.

            She claimed I didn’t reply to QUESTIONS that I didn’t like. Here, I’ve quoted it:

            “As in how you challenge yourself by not replying to questions that you don’t like? lol ok mate.”

            You’ve attempted to broaden it out from “questions” to “comments” because I failed to respond to your own comment.

            Your comment that I didn’t respond to was a good comment though. Fair play to you.

          9. newsjustin

            Hi Don!

            I see – so instead of finding questions that I failed to answer (because you claim that’s what I do) you thought up new questions for me. OK, I guess.

            So you want me to answer those questions?

          10. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            While I waste a lot of time on here, I’m not going to go back through your comment history, no. That’s weird. And you’ll do it again soon enough.

            These aren’t new questions, they have all been asked of you before.

          11. newsjustin

            And I’d wager they’ve all been answered by me.

            I’ll answer them again for you. No problem.

            – I don’t believe I am cruel, or that I lack empathy. So I can’t pretend to tell you why I am.
            – Yes.
            – Yes.
            – Yes.
            – Yes
            – Yes I would.
            – No.

            Stick around Moyest.

          12. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            “I don’t believe I am cruel, or that I lack empathy. So I can’t pretend to tell you why I am.”

            You’ll want to look back on those answers then. They are quite a good clue.

          13. newsjustin

            The fact is Don, we disagree on the subject of abortion. That’s no reason for you to think you can get away with making claims about me failing to answer questions.

            How about we just each participate in the various discussions on Broadsheet without you getting upset and making claims you can’t back up?

          14. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            “That’s no reason for you to think you can get away with making claims about me failing to answer questions.”

            Oooo Im in trouble!!

            “How about we just each participate in the various discussions on Broadsheet without you getting upset and making claims you can’t back up?”

            You could just call me hysterical and get it over and done with. But its interesting that this is thing that has made you mad.

            It’s a claim I’ll make it again and others will. You don’t reply to questions you find hard because you can’t explain yourself.

            So, yeah.

          15. newsjustin

            I’m not going to call you hysterical Don. Mainly because I don’t believe you are. But also because I know that it inflames your victim hood.

            You can claim that I don’t answer questions all you like. And I’ll just keep reminding you that you can’t find a single question I haven’t answered.

          16. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            You’ve never answered my questions about how is it that you are able to mysteriously find and comment only on abortion and CC posts. You’ve never answered my questions about who you normally post as.

          17. newsjustin

            How I find them? I visit https://www.broadsheet.ie and they’re right there. I assume you do the same.

            And I only ever comment as newsjustin.

            And for the record, I don’t believe you’ve ever asked me those questions.

          18. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            Yeah, I’ve asked before and you know it.

            Gosh, well your google skills must also be linked to time because you are awful fast off the get go aren’t you for someone who just drops by? Not at all that you are someone else who posts here, nope nope. I thought lying was a sin?

            What a joke!

          19. newsjustin

            Who do you think I am?

            You seem a little paranoid.

            Genuinely – I only post as newsjustin. Maybe you’ve been asking other people all this time if they’re me….and that’s why I have no recollection of those questions.

          20. Junkface

            Once again newsjustin is a complete Tool! And a religious one at that.

            Imagine still supporting the Catholic church and its archaic viewpoints on morality after all of the child raping, torture and many other horrors inflicted on the Irish people in the 20th century?

            Delusional

          21. newsjustin

            Ah, but which newsjustin? Don is convinced there’s more than one.

            Don, do these other people speak to everyone on here or just you?

          22. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            I wouldn’t be so smug if I thought telling people they have to watch their baby die soon after birth was the height of Christian compassion.

    1. Markskids

      deadly serious. maybe you are taking me as meaning we should not allow for it here? I’m not saying that at all , I totally believe this woman should have had the care she needed here 100%

      1. Orla

        If you read the article, her sister had given birth to a stillborn baby. She did not want to deal with that alone in a different jurisdiction, she wanted to be among family & friends for support. So she was offered this solution by her consultant. Which obviously didn’t happen in the end. So she gave birth with her partner, unsupported and alone. And then bought picnic coolers to keep the babies body cool while they brought it home in the boot of their car. It’s horrific.

  4. Owen

    That’s a brutal story and whatever your views on the topic, this has to change. Nobody can argue that this is acceptable and ‘pro-life’. It’s 2016, Ireland is a progressive country. We can not be proud of this. Dr’s cant be proud of this. The church can’t be proud of this.

      1. meadowlark

        Can you muster a suitable defense for how this woman was treated? Or countless others in a similar situation?

        1. newsjustin

          For her own sake, if she was intent on abortion, she should have had it carried out in one place and remained there for aftercare.

          1. Orla

            Yes. Stayed over in the UK with limitless funds while she left bowls of kibble out for her other two children to snack on until she returned home.

          2. Fergus the magic postman

            “It certainly isn’t pro-life.”
            “For her own sake, if she was intent on abortion, she should have had it carried out in one place and remained there for aftercare.”

            How is your suggestion for what she could have done more pro-life than what she actually had to do, out of interest?

          3. newsjustin

            It would have been better for her own health. There’s no way around the fact that abortion her son is not pro-life.

          4. Nigel

            That’s because trying to squeeze what is a fundamentally a personal health issue into a political frame is fundamentally distorting, whatever side you come at it from. Nonetheless, there’s no way around the fact that our stupidly rigid and unforgiving ‘pro-life’ regime leads to outcomes like this.

  5. fluffybiscuits

    Ireland needs to clarify the legal position also with regards to this. Legislation will stop doctors from fulfilling their hipocratic oath which they take. They need to take care of the woman without worrying aboiut legal ramifications of what happens to a couple of cells. Ireland is still deep rooted in misogyny

    1. newsjustin

      This woman’s baby was 24 weeks old. By no stretch of the imagination “a couple of cells”. The article refers to the child as her son.

      1. meadowlark

        “She was forced to travel to the UK twice before she was finally allowed a termination at 24 weeks.”

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