Anti-abortion campaigners call on Government to review legislation

Poll shows 89 per cent favour women being given details on alternatives to abortion

Anti-abortion campaigners have called on the Government to make changes to Ireland’s abortion laws, three years after they were introduced following the referndum on the Eighth Amendment.

The Pro Life Campaign staged an event on Tuesday outside Leinster House to launch 'Ireland's Abortion Law: End the Silence', which which focuses on the Government's three year review of abortion leglislation.

Pro Life Campaign spokeswoman Eilís Mulroy said the review was “a really important opportunity to take a hard look at what the abortion law has brought to bear.

“The numbers have spiralled, so they’ve had 13, 243 abortions since the law came into effect ,” she said. “That’s a 70 per cent increase on previous figures, a massive increase.”

She said opinion poll findings from Amárach research show that 89 per cent of rrepondents are in favour of women being given the option of information on alternatives to abortion.

“We talk about trusting women, let’s trust and empower women and give them the information to make other choices as well. Whether you were a ‘yes’ voter or a ‘no’ voter in 2018 (during the Repeal referendum) that’s a reasonable thing to work for,” she said.

The poll also showed that 77 per cent supported abortion legislation being amended “to ensure that babies who survive the abortion procedure are given medical care”, Ms Mulroy said.

“Those children who survive abortion, they are children. They are alive, so they are entitled to medical care. It’s a basic principle,” Independent East Galway TD Seán Canney said at the launch.

"It is happening in Ireland and the research has shown that it is happening. UCC carried out some research. They talked to clinicians who have been involved in the process. I think everyone agrees, no matter what your take is on abortion, that if someone survives it that they should actually be treated and get medical care, everything that they would require," he said.

“I think it is incumbent on the Minister for Health to make sure that the necessary methods of providing this care is put in place so that doctors that perform abortions are not left with no place to go or don’t understand where they have to go,” said Mr Canney. “The medical care should be there as part of the overall process so that children who survive - they’re alive and we need to protect life once it’s born.”

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is Religious Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times