HSE to investigate counselling agencies


Pregnancy advice:The HSE has set up an investigation into allegations that pregnancy counselling agencies it funds provided women with inappropriate advice, the Oireachtas health committee has been told.

HSE director designate Tony O’Brien said an internal review of the allegations had been completed. Based on the findings of this review, it had been decided a full investigation was needed.

According to information gathered undercover by anti-abortion activists, some counsellors allegedly advised women how to smuggle the abortion pill into the Republic. It was also alleged women were told to hide their abortions from their doctors. Since the allegations were published last month, some backbench Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil TDs and Senators have been pressing for an investigation.

Yesterday, Mr O’Brien said the investigation will be carried out by the retired former secretary general of the Department of Education Brigid McManus. The terms of reference were being finalised and the investigation would be completed as expeditiously as possible, he said.