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A number of questions were put lately to the Minister for Health following on from the shocking study which was published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology recently. The report outlined disturbing facts about late term abortion procedures in Ireland including foeticide – usually by lethal injection into the baby’s heart before abortion. In the report, specialists describe the procedures as ‘brutal’, ‘awful’ and ‘emotionally diffcult’. As Breda O’Brien comments: ‘the instinctive revulsion for something which these medical workers experience as brutal and awful, despite presumably being pro-choice, should raise questions for the rest of society about something hailed as allegedly progressive and humane’.

In response to this report, a cross party group has again called on the humane administration of pain relief to babies before they suffer late-term abortions as being both merciful and humane.

This Oireachtas Life and Dignity Group said in a statement: “It is routine practice for unborn babies undergoing surgical procedures to be given pain relief to ensure they feel no pain or distress during the procedure.”

“Babies being aborted at an identical gestational age, however, are denied the same dignity and respect as they are regarded as non-persons in the eyes of the law and by those carrying out the abortion procedure,” it said.

Carol Nolan, TD, said that recent research had found that foetuses felt pain after 12 weeks’ gestation and said that she wanted to see “humanitarian pain relief for babies” required.

But the question remains – how did we get to this and who have we become for such legislation to be necessary or even considered?


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