Thursday, 29 November 2018
Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018: Report Stage (Resumed)
Many pro-choice GPs have expressed concerns about the lack of availability of an ultrasound. It should be made available for doctors and offered to women to see the ultrasound. In many abortion clinics it is used but women are often discouraged from looking at the screen or hearing their baby's heartbeat.
Sadly this is not to protect the women because they know if a woman sees or hears the baby's heartbeat, she often changes her mind, as within the abortion industry more abortions are good. I recently attended a meeting in Bandon where this was discussed. A lady had travelled 95 miles to the clinic and after seeing the ultrasound she changed her mind because that clinic provides the opportunity to hear the ultrasound which is great. If compassion for the woman was at the heart of the vote in May, why would we not ensure women are offered information about their babies, information that has been shown to impact abortion decisions?
The Minister mentioned putting women first. He is dead right; we should put women first. I ask him to come to west Cork or parts of Kerry tomorrow morning where they will be getting up at 5 a.m. to go for cataract operations because of the efforts of Deputy Danny Healy-Rae and me. If it were not for that, they would be going blind. Those women were not put first by the Minister. He has had ample time to resolve that mess. They are going to have their hips attended to because they are in agony and cannot get a hip operation here. The Minister talks about putting women first; I ask him to look at other areas where women could be put first and have been put last. They were going blind and have got their sight back thanks to the people in Northern Ireland under the cross-Border health directive. The Minister should not tell us that we would not put women first. We certainly have, but he has failed to do so in the past few years and he will have failed to do so if he refuses to accept this amendment.