Members of Offaly Prolife at a candlelight vigil in O'Connor Square in Tullamore last weekend
“Sad and very concerning” was the reaction of Offaly Prolife to the recently published University College Cork study of pregnancy termination services in Irish hospitals last year.
The report published in September in the British Journal or Obstetrics and Gynaecology looked at the experience of foetal medicine specialists in providing the new abortion service in the cases of unborn babies with life limiting conditions, representing 5 of the 6 fetal medicine units in Ireland.
Doctors in the UCC study described the life ending procedures carried out in hospitals in Ireland today and talked about the internal conflict they feel and how awful and difficult it can be ending the lives of unborn babies. Talking about the termination of the life of unborn babies with life limiting conditions Foetal Medical Specialists, working in Irish hospitals said:
“and you’d worry about whether if I do get it wrong and what if we do induce this baby at term and actually it lives for six weeks because there is always an outlier”
“none of us want to be in a situation where we thought, ah sure deliver and then the baby is alive six weeks later and there is all the issues that go with that”
“Oh, I have seen a case where the baby lived” so it is almost if somebody has seen a baby survive something, other people are afraid to appear as pro-abortion”
Far from the certainty and simplicity of the message of the Repeal Campaign, pressing abortion as compassion and as an answer to difficult situations, the study describes the true challenges in most difficult situations, and the medical specialist’s fear of getting it wrong, said a statement from Offaly Prolife.
“Not fatal enough” was a theme identified by the study in terms of what the legislation allows for. “Half of the specialists expressed uncertainty regarding a diagnosis being fatal as it “depends on an individual’s definition of what is fatal”. Yet elsewhere in the study some “Foetal Medical Specialists expressed lament having to bring discussions to a Multi-disciplinary Team as some disciplines were too “vocal” and “strong” with their “anti-abortion opinions”.
Under the new abortion laws there is no time limit for abortion where the unborn child has a life limiting condition, there is no requirement to provide pain relief to the unborn child who is pain capable and no requirement to provide medical or palliative care to a child born alive after abortion.
Offaly Prolife Chair, John Egan said: “In Ireland last year 6666 unborn children died by abortion, an almost 40% increase in lives lost in just one year. We were promised that abortion when legal would be rare and an answer to very difficult situations, but the numbers and now this this study tell a very different story.”
“We believe each life is precious and it is very disturbing to think that any child, unborn or just born should be suffering in this way. We are pleased that time was given in the Dail on Thursday to raise the practise of late term abortion in Irish hospitals, thanks to the efforts of the TDs and Senators in the All Party Oireachtas Life and Dignity Group, including local representative Carol Nolan T.D.
Above all at the moment we would like people to know that outreach and practical support is available for anyone experiencing unplanned pregnancy or pregnancy where their child is diagnosed with a life limiting condition. Gianna Care Offaly can be contacted through the Gianna Care Helpline 1800 111141 or by email at GiannaCareMidlands@gmail.com and we can direct people to www.Everylifecounts.ie for more information and resources”
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