We have just come out of a referendum campaign where the facts were ignored in order to push through a vote for repeal and introduce abortion in Ireland.
There is no other way of saying it. Many people voted Yes on the strength of misinformation and fear about the supposed risks to women from the 8th Amendment. This myth was spread by repeal campaigners even though there was no basis for it.
During the campaign several consultant obstetricians stated that they were “horrified” at what they consider to be a deliberate “campaign strategy” of the Yes side to create “unnecessary fears” about women’s health.
Irish law and medical practice are clear – doctors can do whatever they need to do to save women’s lives, even if that results in the death of the baby. This was clarified in the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Act 2013 which was introduced a year after the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar from mismanaged sepsis.
But much of the campaign to introduce abortion in Ireland has ignored these facts.
Scroll down to read more and get the real picture on women’s health in Ireland.
Former Chairmen of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Address Misleading Claims of ‘Yes’ Campaign
Five former Chairs of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have issued a public letter to voters stating that they are “appalled” at the words of leading Yes campaigners Dr Rhona Mahony and Dr Peter Boylan. They state that Drs Mahony and Boylan’s claims about the impact of the 8th Amendment on maternal health are are “simply not true and are nothing less than a serious misrepresentation of the Irish maternal health system.” Read More
Dr Mary Holohan Consultant Obstetrician and Former Dean of Professional Competence in the Royal College of Medicine issues letters addressing misinformation spread by “Yes” Campaigners
Dr Mary Holohan is a consultant Obstetrician in the Rotunda Hospital, and former Dean of Professional Competence in the Royal College of Physicians. She has not stated which way she will vote, and is not aligned with any campaign. The misinformation spread by doctors campaigning for legalised abortion has prompted her to issue two public letters (one in April and one in May) to challenge what she calls the “unnecessary fears” they have created in this campaign. She states that “the medical needs of the mother do not require removal of the 8th Amendment”. Read More
Dr Michael O’Hare, Consultant Obstetrician, issues letter addressing concerns of misinformation spread by the media
Dr Michael O’Hare is a Consultant Obstetrician, former Chair of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and Chair of the HSE Working Group on Maternal Mortality. His role is to examine the facts and statistics surrounding maternal deaths and maternal health in pregnancy. He has issued a public letter stating that he is “concerned about misinformation” in the media about the impact of the 8th Amendment on the life and health of mothers. He states that “there is no evidence whatever of a higher risk of maternal mortality or severe morbidity in Ireland as a result of the Eighth Amendment.” Read More
Professor Eamon McGuiness piece in Irish Times addresses “campaign of fear and misinformation”
Professor Eamon McGuinness is a former chair of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Writing in the Irish Times he said that it is “very disturbing to see what amounts to a campaign of fear and misinformation” about women’s health spread by those on the Yes side. Read More
4 Consultant Obstetricians issue joint statement over the “scaremongering” from Yes Campaigners
4 consultant obstetricians –Dr. Eileen Reilly, Dr. Trevor Hayes, Dr. John Monaghan and Professor Eamon McGuinness also issued a joint statement in May saying that they were “worried about scaremongering” from those on the Yes side who wish to use fears about maternal mortality to push for abortion in Ireland. Read More
Professor Malachi McKenna and Dara Kilmartin, Consultant Ophthalmologist correct the record
The Yes campaign have also sought to create fears about women’s health. For example, they have created false fears about the management of diabetes in pregnancy. But Professor Malachi McKenna, Consultant Endocrinologist, and Mr. Dara Kilmartin, Consultant Opthalmologist, have clarified that there are no records of blindness in pregnancy in Ireland due to diabetes, and that “it is upsetting for such patients to be told that they might go blind during pregnancy, especially when there is no evidence of this happening in Ireland”.
People may differ on the legalisation of abortion in Ireland for personal or philosophical reasons. But one thing is clear – there are no medical reasons for introducing abortion. This is not a medical debate. There has been a concerted campaign to create fear and disseminate “fake news” on the issue of maternal health and well being.
It’s time the scaremongering stopped.