The Irish police are probing into an alleged abortion done on a 12-year-old girl, who traveled to Britain for the procedure. An investigation has been undertaken since the clinic itself reported the incident to the police due to the girl's age.
According to reports, investigators already asked for DNA samples of the aborted fetus. Authorities wanted to confirm the identity of the father, who is alleged to be a 15-year-old boy, so that it can rule out any sexual abuse that an adult might have committed against the young girl. Sex with a 12-year-old girl in Ireland carries a stiff life sentence since the age of consent is 17 years old.
Officials of the Child and Family Agency have been in contact with both the boy and girls' families. The police are also preparing to file a case with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions but officials refrained from further commenting on the case.
The 12-year-old girl reportedly received financial assistance from a charity to travel and get an abortion in Britain, according to The Times. The Abortion Support Network (ASN) also extended help for 52 girls below 16 years old who needed abortion last year.
The news comes as Ireland prepares to vote on a referendum on May 25 to either retain or repeal the Eighth Amendment that recognizes the rights of the mother and the unborn child. If the law were repealed then Ireland would make abortion legal for up to 12 weeks. Currently, women cross the Irish Sea to head to Britain for the procedure, as in the case of the girl involved.
"Although we do not know the exact circumstances of this girl's story, it is deeply saddening that such a vulnerable person could not get the care she deserved at home," pro-choice activist Sinead Redmond of the cause-oriented group Parents for Choice stated.
Exit polls from January suggest that majority of the Irish (56 percent), who are Catholics, favor repealing the law, while 29 percent are for its retention.