‘Dismantling Ireland’s 3-day abortion wait will see more babies killed’

Abandoning the 2018 referendum promise for a three-day reflection period before having an abortion will see more babies die, a newspaper columnist has warned.

Writing in the Irish Independent, Sarah Carey said those “precious few days” in the midst of a crisis may have already enabled thousands of pregnant mothers to choose life for their unborn child.

Six years ago, the Irish public voted to repeal the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment – a key constitutional protection from abortion for the unborn child. The reflection period was introduced to encourage more people to back the change.

2,000 babies saved

Carey said that the mandatory three-day wait between a GP consultation and being prescribed abortion pills in the first trimester had long been targeted by activists, “who framed it in the most negative terms”.

She also challenged the notion, voiced by pro-abortion Senator Annie Hoey, that “the three-day wait only hinders the process without adding any meaningful value”.

Referring to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures for 2023, Carey noted that at least 2,000 women attended a consultation but did subsequently not return for an abortion.

“As I see it, that’s 2,000 babies who survived and 2,000 women who don’t spend the rest of their lives regretting a decision which may otherwise have haunted them.”

‘When it comes to abortion, the word ‘baby’ is taboo. Sarah Carey


She continued: “The conclusion any fair-minded person would therefore draw is that the waiting period fulfils its function – 80pc went ahead while 20pc didn’t. It’s not a barrier, it’s a moment of clarity.

“So the only question that remains is why campaigners are so determined to deny women this vital opportunity to think. Why are they so insistent that abortions take place on the same day a woman first sees her doctor during a crisis pregnancy?

“In a crisis, a few days to pause isn’t robbing anyone of autonomy, it’s granting an opportunity that might otherwise not be taken.”

And she concluded: “Policy must evolve and reform, but wilfully breaking promises is why trust in politics collapses. This failure of trust is the disease destroying liberal democracy. If the safeguards go, so will my trust in referendum promises.”

O’Shea report

Last year, a Government-commissioned review led by barrister Marie O’Shea recommended that access to abortion should be made even easier nationwide.

O’Shea recommended scrapping the current three-day reflection period and suggested the HSE recruit more pro-abortion GPs.

The barrister also implied that non-invasive prenatal tests (NIPTs) – which have been shown to raise the abortion rate for children with Down’s syndrome – should be made available through the public health system.

In December, the Joint Committee on Health backed the recommendations in O’Shea’s report and urged they be “implemented without delay”.

Also see:

Baby foot

‘Women betrayed’ as Republic of Ireland aborts almost 10,000 babies

Dáil Éireann backs ‘undemocratic’ abortion censorship zones

Extreme abortion Bill backed by Dáil Éireann

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