fbpx
Select Page

Abortion or no work – the choice facing female pilots in post-referendum Ireland

In Ireland, females pilots are being told to choose between losing work and abortion, if they become pregnant, they according to the Irish Line Pilots’ Association (IALPA).

An Oireachtas (Irish national parliament) committee heard that it was “a matter of fact” that female pilots working as self-employed contractors with airlines registered in Ireland have had abortions to avoid losing out on future work.

IALPA president Captain Evan Cullen told the Oireachtas Employment Affairs committee:

“They have a choice, you either terminate your employment… or you terminate your pregnancy. You can’t have both. So that is absolutely what goes on,”

Asked if he knew of specific cases, Capt Cullen said: “Female pilots have told me that they’ve terminated pregnancies because they had no entitlement to maternity leave and therefore no guarantee of a job after they came back.”

Capt Cullen said that “all Irish airlines” are involved in hiring contract pilots but he did not name any company.

The claims were described as “horrifying” by Solidarity TD Paul Murphy.

Labour senator Ged Nash, who had asked Capt Cullen about the matter during the Oireachtas hearing, described the revelation as a “very sinister situation”.

While denying that this practice is in any way representative of their airline, an Aer Lingus spokesperson said “When a female pilot becomes pregnant their medical clearance to fly is suspended under the requirements set out by the Irish Aviation Authority.”

In 2018, the people of Ireland voted in a referendum to remove legal protections for unborn children from the Irish constitution.

Clare McCarthy of Right To Life UK said:

“Once again, this sort of case illustrates the shallowness of the talk about choice. If there really are female pilots who feel they must have an abortion or risk loss of employment, then this is no choice at all.”

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

Article Syndication

Join other leading publications from around the world who syndicate our articles

Syndicate this article
Syndicate now

Dear reader

In 2020, the UK Government imposed an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland, which included a provision that legalised abortion right up to birth for disabilties including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

A new Bill has been launched at the Northern Ireland assembly that will remove the current provision that allows abortion for ‘severe fetal impairment’.

It is under these grounds in the regulations that babies with disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot can currently be singled out for abortion in Northern Ireland because of their disability and can be aborted right up to birth.

Before the new abortion regime was imposed on Northern Ireland in 2020, disability-selective abortion for conditions such as Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot was not legal and there was a culture of welcoming and supporting people with these disabilities rather than eliminating them.

This is reflected directly in the latest figures (2016) from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, which show that while there were 52 children born with Down’s syndrome in Northern Ireland, in the same year only 1 child from Northern Ireland with Down’s syndrome was aborted in England and Wales. 

This contrasts with the situation in the rest of the United Kingdom where disability-selective abortion has been legal since 1967.

The latest available figures show that 90% of children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome before birth are aborted in England and Wales.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to take 30 seconds of your time and add your support to the campaign to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot in Northern Ireland.

If you live in Northern Ireland: 
Ask your MLAs to vote to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot:

If you live outside Northern Ireland: 
Show your support by signing this petition in support of the Bill:

Article Syndication

Join other leading publications from around the world who syndicate our articles

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

Syndicate this article
Syndicate now