Is abortion needed in Ireland to keep women safe?

No, in fact Ireland is one of the safest countries in the world for pregnant women. The Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists welcomed the latest figures from the Maternal Death Enquiry (MDE)¹ which shows that Ireland has an exceptionally low rate of maternal mortality – lower than both Britain and USA which both have abortion on demand.

Five of Ireland’s most senior Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, including four former Chairmen of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, as well as the current Chairman of the HSE working group on maternal mortality, have announced they are ‘horrified’ by the false statements made by some colleagues during this referendum campaign in relation to maternal care in Ireland. They said, “Not one of our colleagues should ever be permitted to use the Eighth Amendment as an excuse for not treating a woman.” Read more here.

Some people have concerns following media reports about the tragic case of Savita Halappanavar in 2012. Three separate inquiries – by HIQA, the HSE and the coroner – have clearly shown that her death was due to mismanagement of sepsis². None of these reports blamed the 8th Amendment for her death. Sadly, thirteen missed opportunities were identified in Savita’s care. For example, there was no record of her vital signs being checked on her second day in hospital, and the results of an early blood test were not followed up. Had Savita received appropriate medical care, it’s likely she would still be alive today. Much has been done since Savita’s death to improve the protocols around the management of sepsis.

Ireland’s abortion laws were clarified in 2013. It is legal to terminate a pregnancy in Ireland to protect a mother’s life.³

 

 

  1. www.rcpi.ie/news/releases/institute-of-obstetricians-and-gynaecologists-welcomes-new-figures-that-show-ireland-is-one-of-the-safest-places-to-have-a-baby/
  2. Inquest Report: The coroner’s nine recommendations endorsed by the jury, (April 2013); HSE Report, (June 2013); The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) Report, (October 2013).
  3. Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, 2013