IFPA have questions to answer

The Life Institute has said that the HSE inquiry into the care of a woman who requested an abortion must include a thorough and transparent investigation into the involvement of the abortion agency, the Irish Family Planning Association.   

The HSE has appointed a four-person team to establish the facts of the case, including the chain of communications between service providers and the flow of information relating to the woman at the centre of the case.   

"The IFPA's role in this must be investigated thoroughly and transparently," said Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute.  "The fact that a tax-payer funded abortion referral agency were so intricately involved in this woman's care,  and seem to have been central to the delay in obtaining proper support and treatment, is extremely worrying."   

She said that it was reported that the IFPA first saw the woman in the case when she was 8 weeks pregnant but she was not referred to a GP or psychiatric services by the agency.  In fact, the agency did not seem to give the woman,  who was reportedly distressed and fearful any assistance other than telling her how much an abortion in Britain would cost.   

The Life Institute spokeswoman made her call prior to a Vigil of Hope for the baby boy left struggling for his life in an ICU after being forcibly delivered at just 25 weeks under abortion legislation. Dr Eoghan de Faoite, an organiser of the Vigil also said that  the IFPA had serious questions to answer.   

“This case broke every rule of medicine. Firstly, the IFPA failed to adequately address this woman’s mental health status when she twice expressed suicidal ideation to them; secondly, abortion was prescribed as a treatment for her suicidality, when every doctor knows there is no evidence for this; and thirdly, an obstetrician was obliged to forcibly deliver a healthy baby at 25 weeks, where no medical basis existed. This is the anti-thesis of obstetrical care”.     

Dr De Faoite continued; “Vulnerable women expressing suicidal thoughts need to be given the correct treatment of support, psychotherapy and medication where needed. This is how suicidality is treated. However Fine Gael’s legislation forces doctors to abandon evidence-based medicine and perform abortions on request, throughout all nine months of pregnancy.”     

He concluded: "This Vigil of Hope seeks to send a strong message that we care for both patients in this scenario, mother and baby, and they both have been utterly failed by Enda Kenny's abortion act," he said.

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