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12 / 06 / 2009 - C-case girl says she “didn’t know what abortion was”
In an explosive revelation, a young woman who was brought by the Irish state to have an abortion when she was just 13 years old, has now said that she was unaware of what abortion was at the time her baby was killed.
She told the Irish Star newspaper that when she awoke following the abortion she asked for her baby. “I remember waking up screaming with pains in my stomach,” she recalls. “I remember saying, ‘”Where’s the child?’ and they said ‘There’s no child’.”
The young woman – called Mary in the interview with the newspaper to conceal her identity - said she wished her baby had been allowed to live. Now 25, and mother to a five year old boy, she says that she thinks of her aborted baby - who she believes was a girl – all the time. “The child never left my head,” she told the Irish Star.
Most shocking of all is Mary’s revelation that she was not even aware of what abortion was when she was brought to a British clinic by social workers, against the wishes of her parents, to have her baby killed. Social workers for the State had insisted that they sought the abortion only at the direction of the young girl – who was then only thirteen years old, and was pregnant as a result of a brutal rape. In fact, representatives for the State even swore in court that the young rape victim has threatened suicide if she was not allowed to undergo an abortion. Mary’s mother told the pro-life group Youth Defence that this claim was untrue at the time of the controversial case, but both the young girl’s parents and Youth Defence became the target of intense and vitriolic media attacks when they spoke out against the abortion.
Mary’s case was extraordinary in that pro-abortion campaigners and the state insisted the young girl should be brought for an abortion, despite the pleas of her parents, who were opposed to the abortion and had only placed their daughter in care to protect her from the rapist who had violated her. The state went as far as to seek, and obtain, a High Court order to allow them to have the unborn child killed. Mary’s parents were refused access to their daughter prior to the abortion. Now it has become clear that the primary reason for the enforced separation of a young rape victim from her own mother and father was to ensure that the abortion sought by social workers went ahead.
Niamh Uí Bhriain who was a spokesperson for Youth Defence at the time said this week that Mary had great courage in speaking out about her ordeal. “This public revelation confirms what Mary and her family had revealed to us almost 12 years ago,” she said. “The state has a great many questions to answer, not least why they lied on oath in the High Court, and why they insisted that this young girl wanted an abortion when her own evidence is that she sought no such thing.” Ms Uí Bhriain added that it was horrifying that the young rape victim and her family had been manipulated by the state and by abortion supporters in such a cruel and callous manner. “The truth about what happened has been kept secret for too long; it’s time for the public to know what really happened,” she said.
At the time of the C case, Tommy Cullen, a county councillor who was one of the few members of the state-run Health Board who opposed the abortion, said that those with a pro-abortion agenda within the State’s employ were “trawling” the health boards looking for similar cases, in order to further the legalisation of abortion in Ireland. In 1999, the Midland Health Board – another state body – brought a teenager who had become pregnant in their care for an abortion, also against the wishes of her mother.