Who can be trusted to provide services respecting women’s human rights?

When it comes to maternity care, it seems service providers just can’t get it right

Parents For Choice organises a  march against religious ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Parents For Choice organises a march against religious ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Did anyone at the Department of Health anticipate the public outrage that ensued when it was announced that the Sisters of Charity were going to own the new National Maternity Hospital (NMH)?

Some media commentators have likened the mess to that made of Dr Noel Browne’s Mother and Child Scheme in the early 1950s. The chief medical adviser to the government at the time, Dr James Deeny, said “because of bloody-mindedness, folly, idiocy, scheming and religious obscurancy . . . they made a right mess of the Mother and Child Scheme”.

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