Hilary White

News

13-year-old rape victim forced to abort suing Irish gov’t after spiral of ‘depression and chaos’

Hilary White

DUBLIN, May 6, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A young woman, whose child was aborted in the UK without her consent in 1997 under Ireland’s existing limited provisions for abortion, has told newspapers that she will never be the same after the experience 16 years ago.

The Irish Independent is reporting that “Mary,” who was 13 and in foster care at the time, fell into a spiral of “depression and chaos” after the abortion, which was justified based upon claims that she was suicidal. She is now suing the government for the pain caused by her abortion.

“[F]or me, it has been harder to deal with than the rape. It only really hits you after you have children,” Mary, now 29, told the paper.  

“You never forget your missing baby,” she said. “It plays on your mind every day. Any woman who has an abortion and then goes on to become a mother will know all about it afterwards.

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“I didn't want to become a mother at 13, but I realise now that baby didn't deserve to die. I would have loved to give her up for adoption to somebody who really wanted kids and couldn't have them. She'd be a teenager today and maybe we could be friends, even if she didn't call me mammy.” 

Mary was taken to the UK for an abortion after being raped, after social workers removed her from her family home. 

One day, she relates that she was taken to a doctor and told she was pregnant. “I said: ‘What’s pregnant?’ They said ‘you are having a baby’. I didn't understand how I could be. A few weeks later, they came and took me on a plane to London. 

“The next day, I was taken to a building. All I remember next was being wheeled on a trolley and screaming with the pain. They gave me an injection, and when I woke up, the pain had gone. Eventually they told me the baby was dead.” 

The Independent said that she believed she would be home again in 24 hours. But she was placed with a foster family with whom she lived for months before realizing that she was not going to be allowed to return home. 

Recalling the song she listened to the day of the abortion, Mary told the Independent, “‘I’m leaving on a jet plane. Don’t know when I’ll be back again.’ I’ll never forget those lines. Part of me never did come back again after that. I didn't know that the next day my life was about to change forever.” 

Mary is now a 29 year-old mother of two, but she has demanded her medical records be released in preparation for the suit. Although she did not know it at the time, her case was the subject of a highly publicized legal battle, called the “C Case,” as her parents fought in the courts to regain custody of their daughter. 

The Eastern Health Board, who took Mary into state care, claimed at the time that the abortion was done in accordance with her wishes and obtained an order from the District Court to take her to the UK. Mary’s parents attempted to challenge the court’s decision to allow the abortion, but the High Court ruled that it had heard from a psychiatrist hired by the Eastern Health Board that “Miss C” was likely to take her own life “if forced to continue with the pregnancy” and that she was “entitled” to an abortion in Ireland by virtue of the Supreme Court judgment in the 1992 X Case. 

The Irish Supreme Court had ruled in the X Case that women should be allowed abortions when they threaten suicide. 

Currently in Ireland the coalition government, under pressure from abortion campaigners at the EU and in the Labour Party, is proposing legislation that would allow direct abortion in Ireland for the first time in cases where the mother threatens suicide. Critics of the bill are warning that the “limits” and “restrictions” proposed as safeguards by the government are effectively meaningless and that the bill is the crack in the dam that will pave the way for an effectively unrestricted abortion regime similar to that of the UK. 

In sentencing C’s rapist in 1998 to 12 years in prison, Mr. Justice Quirke noted that the crime had been particularly abhorrent because, not only had he violated an innocent young girl, but that the action had led to the death of the child “through abortion.”   

But Mary herself now says she knew nothing about this, and was simply doing what she was told. “I wasn’t educated about these things,” she told The Independent. “I was 13, the eldest girl of 12. I barely got to school at all because I had to be at home to mind the kids, and cook and clean.” 

Among the issues to be brought up in the suit is why she was never returned to her own family, instead remaining in state care after the abortion. She relates that she was drugged against her will following the incident: “When I was taken into care, I was so shy. Most of the time, I was drugged up to the eyeballs in a room on my own. I remember they would come in with a silver tray and a syringe on it. The drug was Largactil. They would offer it to me in a brown sticky liquid or in tablet form. I would say no to both. 

“Then four of five staff would come in, hold me down and give me an injection in the bum. That was horrific because it brought back memories of the rape. Eventually I ended up taking the tablets because I didn’t want to be held down any more,” she said. 

“I still have dreams about a little girl with blonde hair running around a field and asking me to play with her,” she said. “She is my lost daughter. I called her Shannon. I eventually got a death certificate for her. That was my way of proving that she existed.” 

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