When a girl in Ireland went with her mother to try to get an abortion last year, she was instead detained against her will in a psychiatric clinic. CNN reports that the girl, who is a minor, had said her pregnancy was making her suicidal. But instead of being granted permission to terminate her unwanted pregnancy, she was told that an abortion was "not the solution for all the child's problems at this stage," and the Mental Health Act was invoked—sending her to a mental health facility against her will. A few days later she was cleared by another psychiatrist and released after a court determined she didn't have an actual mental health disorder, per Jezebel.
Ireland has the strictest anti-abortion laws in Europe. The 8th Amendment, passed in 1983, declares the life of a fetus equal to the life of a mother, and prohibits abortion in all cases—including rape, incest, and the mother's health—unless, under the 2014 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, the mother's life is in immediate danger. In this case, the Mental Health Act seemed to be used as "a tool to force a child into continuing an unwanted pregnancy because of ... personal beliefs," a rep for the Abortion Rights Campaign says. Parents for Choice in Pregnancy and Childbirth called the treatment "barbaric," "cruel," and "regressive," reports the Irish Mirror, while a Sinn Fein politician called it "the draconian edge of the Irish state." (The UN says Ireland's abortion ban is inhumane.)