An excellent letter featured in the Irish Examiner recently that highlighted the concern over the removal of safeguards within Ireland’s abortion legislation which would make it easier to abort a baby who has been diagnosed with a life limiting condition in the womb.
The letter gave particular mention to the recent cases of babies being aborted after mistaken diagnoses.
Within a few months of Ireland’s abortion regime, a 16 week unborn baby, now known as baby Christopher, was aborted after being mistakenly diagnosed with Trisomy 18, where his parents were told there would be “no hope” for him. Recently, Peadar Tóibín TD revealed that new information show that the state is being sued for two more cases of babies being aborted after a mistaken diagnosis.
Vicky Wall from Every Life Counts, who called this news a “bombshell”, wrote a letter, titled “Wrong diagnoses leading to abortion”, that recently featured in the Irish Examiner, highlighting the concerns over removing safeguards within the abortion legislation that would make it easier to abort babies diagnosed with life limiting conditions in the womb.
“As a mother to a child who died following a life-limiting condition diagnosed in the womb, I am appalled that the abortion review is seeking to make it easier to abort babies like my little girl, despite the revelations of abortion after misdiagnosis which have now come to light,” she began.
“Terrible mistakes have already been made under the 2018 act and abortion is irreversible. In the Baby Christopher case, a little boy was mistakenly diagnosed with Trisomy 18 and aborted,” she continued. “His distraught parents later learned that further tests actually showed he was perfectly healthy.”
“We were told these mistakes would never happen yet this catastrophic error occurred just three months after the law was introduced. Now we know that the State Claims Agency also faces two additional cases where it is likely babies were aborted after a misdiagnosis.”
“During the abortion referendum, families pleaded with then Minister Simon Harris for an opportunity to inform the legislation given our concern that this would happen. Our concerns were ignored. The safeguards were not implemented. And babies and families have paid a terrible price.”
“It almost beggars belief that the abortion review does not even refer to these cases. Instead, it seeks for the HSE to remove even the unsatisfactory safeguards currently in existence.”
She further points out the “heartbreak” of disregarding babies who are diagnosed with life limiting conditions in the womb, reminding readers of the value of these babies regardless of their diagnosis, and that they bring “love and joy” to the world.
“It is heart-breaking to me that in a debate often focused on political point-scoring, the love and joy that babies like my daughter can bring to the world is rarely considered,” she said. “In the rush to make abortion available, it is all too easily forgotten.”
Vicky Wall’s daughter Líadán was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 in the womb, and her story has been a powerful testimony, particularly to families who have endured a similar heart-breaking experience of losing their precious baby. Her message has been one of love and support, which she has credited to her daughter, who inspired her into the work of support organisation Every Life Counts.
Every Life Counts is a life-saving and vital organisation that offers help, love and support to families whose babies have been diagnosed with a life limiting condition. To see more or offer support, visit their website at www.everylifecounts.ie
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