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Irish abortion provider calls for abortion up to birth

A major abortion provider has said that abortion should be available up to birth in Ireland ahead of a review of the Irish abortion law.

Niall Behan, chief executive of the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA), a major abortion provider in Ireland, said that the current 12-week limit for abortion is “rigid” and that abortion should be available up to birth.

He said “Our experience reflects World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance, which is clear that gestational limits cause harm and should be removed”.

Following the repeal of the Eighth Amendment in 2018, which had granted protections for unborn children in Ireland, abortion was made legal. 

Currently, the Department of Health in Ireland is undertaking a review of the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018.

The three-year review was one of the main issues at the March for Life in Dublin in September. Pro-lifers were intent that their voice and concerns must be heard. Carol Nolan TD [MP] told the crowd “There is absolutely no excusing the way the Government is excluding the pro-life movement from the three-year review process. It is wholly unacceptable for the Minister for Health to repeatedly meet with pro-abortion groups for their views on what should happen as part of the review, while refusing to meet with any pro-life representatives”.

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said: “This latest push from the IFPA, if successful, would see time limits scrapped and abortion available on demand up to birth. Thousands of babies have already died in Ireland following the repeal of the Eight Amendment, sadly this does not appear to be enough for abortion campaigners in Ireland.”

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.