From Rights to Compassion: The D Case and Contemporary Abortion Politics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter is concerned with exploring the dynamics of contemporary debate on women’s reproductive choices and rights in the somewhat transformed social, political and economic context of the Republic of Ireland. News coverage of the events of April and May 2007 provide the focus of attention, as the case of ‘D’, a 17 year old in the temporary care of the state, seeking to terminate her pregnancy after a diagnosis of severe foetal abnormality, became yet again a focus of public debate on abortion access within the state. The analysis explores how the issues this case raised were framed in the public domain, in order to consider the shifting moral grammar shaping the debate. The paper explores the ways in which this case illustrates the ongoing tensions between changing characterisations of Irishness, and the social dynamics of access to reproductive rights, particularly for national minors in the care of the state.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Unborn Child, Article 40.3.3° and Abortion in Ireland: Twenty-Five Years of Protection?
EditorsJennifer Schweppe
PublisherLiffey Press
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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