“The whole nation needs to grow up a little bit”

Midwife tells podcast ‘whole nation needs to grow up a little bit on issue of abortion’

Philomena Canning tells Róisín the Eighth Amendment “isn’t effective” and undermines women’s safety.

Philomena Canning tells Róisín the Eighth Amendment “isn’t effective” and undermines women’s safety.

 

Prominent Irish midwife Philomena Canning speaks to Róisín Ingle about her views on abortion and other issues on this week’s podcast.

Canning is one of the key figures behind a new organisation, Midwives For Choice, which is being launched in Dublin this week.

The group maintains the Eighth Amendment undermines the human rights of women by denying access to safe, free and legal abortion in Ireland.

She tells Róisín the Eighth Amendment “isn’t effective” and undermines women’s safety.

In response to Minister for Health Leo Varadkar’s comments that “life experience and growing up a bit” led him to change his stance on abortion she says “the whole nation needs to grow up a little bit”.

“He has now decided that choice, the decision-making, rightly needs to be between the woman and her healthcare provider . . . as opposed to it being located in legislation.”

Canning has delivered more than 500 babies over the last 30 years in women’s homes. She has not practised since September 2014, when the HSE revoked her indemnity insurance pending an investigation. It has since been reinstated.

She also speaks on the podcast about her work as a midwife and her thoughts on maternity services in Ireland.

Canning, originally from Glenvar, Co Donegal, describes how her early experiences as a midwife in Saudi Arabia and the Australian outback influenced her career.

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