The Irish Parliament disappointed pro-lifers by passing a law that opens the door to legalizing abortions by allowing them in some rare cases. Now, a hospital in Dublin has reportedly carried out the first abortion of an unborn baby done under the new law.
National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street ended the live of a baby at 18 weeks, according to an Irish report. It is one of 25 hospitals allowed to do limited abortions under the new law.
The termination of the twin pregnancy was carried out on a patient who was almost 18 weeks’ pregnant in view of the risk to her life and the unviability of her pregnancy, according to sources at the hospital. Foetal heartbeat were present.
The case bears a number of similarities to that of Savita Halappanavar, in that the woman’s membranes had ruptured and she was demonstrating signs of sepsis.
In contrast to Ms Halappanavar, who died in University Hospital Galway last October after she was refused a termination, the National Maternity Hospital patient has made a good recovery after receiving antibiotic treatment and undergoing the termination a number of weeks ago.
It was performed under section 7, which deals with the risk of loss of life of a woman from physical illness. The controversial suicide provision and another provision covering medical emergencies were not invoked.
In accordance with the legislation, the woman’s obstetrician and another medical practitioner certified that there was a real and substantial risk to her life, which could only be averted by carrying out a termination, before the procedure was carried out.
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The Life Institute disagrees with the Irish Times assessment that this is the first legal abortion.
Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute said that the paper, in its rush to defend the abortion legislation, would have caused huge hurt to women and was deliberately misleading its readers.
“From the details that have emerged it seems clear that this was not an abortion, but an intervention that was necessary to save a mother whose life was at risk from sepsis. The twin babies who were delivered were sadly too young to survive.”
A hospital source confirmed that ‘even before the passage of the legislation, Holles Street would have carried out terminations in cases like this, where the prognosis for the pregnancy was very poor’, yet that detail was buried in the story and came after a most misleading headline, Ms Uí Bhriain pointed out.
“As the Irish Times reporter well knows, our most senior obstetricians, such as Dr Sam Coulter Smith, the Master of the Rotunda, have repeatedly stated that these interventions should not be described as abortions, since the intent is not to kill the baby,” she said. The distinction was also highlighted in the guidelines of the Institute for Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
“The claim that such interventions are abortions are hugely upsetting to the mothers and families involved who are already grieving the loss of their babies, and should not be exploited by the Irish Times or abortion campaigners,” she said.
The pro-life spokeswoman said that the Irish Times had also made another serious error in reporting since the Department of Health had since confirmed that the abortion legislation was not yet commenced.
“The Irish Times claims to support women’s rights, yet it causes upset and hurt to women to have lost their children, and uses every opportunity possible to push for abortion,” she said. “Little wonder that their have fallen yet another 9% in new figures released today.”
After the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar last October, pro-abortion politicians and activists thought a broad media campaign, filled with unsubstantiated propaganda, demonizing the Catholic Church and those who work to protect the sanctity of life would finally overturn Ireland’s pro-life laws. But leaked excerpts from a report on the death of Ms. Halappanavar show that a misdiagnosed and mistreated infection, not lack of an abortion, caused her death.