Fine Gael TD Olivia Mitchell Covers for Irish Family Planning Association Putting Women at Risk

International   |   Cora Sherlock   |   Nov 17, 2014   |   10:17AM   |   Dublin, Ireland

The Pro Life Campaign has criticised Fine Gael TD Olivia Mitchell over remarks she made in a Sunday newspaper attacking those involved in an undercover investigation that exposed life-endangering counselling practices at clinics run by the taxpayer-funded Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA).

oliviamitchellDeputy Mitchell was responding to news that the DPP does not intend to prosecute the IFPA over the dangerous advice they gave to women in crisis pregnancy. In yesterday’s Sunday Times, Deputy Mitchell welcomed the DPP’s decision not to prosecute and she said that undercover investigations like the one carried out are potentially “damaging to women’s health.”

It is an absolute disgrace the way Deputy Mitchell has chosen to vent her anger at those who carried out the undercover investigation and not those who gave life-endangering advice to women. By adopting this stance she is displaying a crass disregard for women’s health.

It is simply ridiculous to claim that exposing life-endangering practices somehow damages women’s health. The refusal of so many politicians to condemn what was going on in IFPA clinics is a very graphic illustration of how one-sided the debate on abortion is at present.

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The fact that the DPP is not prosecuting in this particular case does not mean that the story ends there. The undercover investigation team proved that pregnancy counsellors were telling women to lie about their own medical history, advising them to take illegal abortion drugs without medical supervision and telling them not to tell their doctors if they had complications arising from the abortion.

The way Deputy Mitchell has sought to downplay this scandal is appalling. The women of Ireland deserve better than this from their public representatives.