A girl who wanted an abortion was sectioned under the Mental Health Act after a psychiatrist who analysed her said terminating the pregnancy “was not the solution”.
The minor was placed in a psychiatric clinic in Dublin against her will in late 2016 after she was deemed a suicide and self-harm risk.
The case is one of 22 reported by the the Child Care Law Reporting Project, which was published this morning.
The report notes that both the young girl and her mother thought that they were being transferred to the Irish capital for a termination.
It adds she was “very agitated” when she found that she was being admitted to a mental health unit.
After the girl was detained, a second psychiatrist said although the young girl presented as being depressed “there was no evidence of a psychological disorder”.
They aded that she was dealing with her depression well.
A successful application to discharge the girl was made on behalf of the guardian, who visited the girl on several occasions and reported that she did not wish to be detained and was extremely upset.
Abortion Rights Campaign spokeswoman Linda Kavanagh said: “It’s hard not to think that the psychiatrist in this case essentially used the Mental Health Act as a tool to force a child into continuing an unwanted pregnancy because of their own personal beliefs.
“It is clear we need some process which ensures medical professionals with such conscientious objections cannot block timely health care in critical cases.”
The eighth amendment of the Irish constitution prevents women from having abortions within the state of Ireland, forcing many to travel abroad.
In Ireland, since 2014, a pregnancy can be terminated under the Protection Of Life During Pregnancy Act if there is a risk to the woman’s life.
It is not legal in the cases of rape, incest, or foetal anomaly.