Funding abortions abroad

State paid for teenage abortions abroad

The Irish Examiner (17/3/2003) reported that the State had paid for two teenagers in its care to have abortions. Both the East Coast Area Health Board and the South Eastern Health Board confirmed they each took a teenager in their care to Britain, for an abortion, in the past year. The Health Boards would not discuss the details of the cases to protect the anonymity of the girls. However, they confirmed they had secured court orders for the abortions.

It is not clear on what grounds these two abortions were sanctioned. Health Minister Micheál Martin’s spokesman said both the East Coast Health Board and South Eastern Health Boards were legally entitled to bring the two teenagers in their care abroad for abortions. Mr Martin indicated before the last abortion referendum that the State would fund abortions for teenagers in care who were victims of rape or incest.

The revelation that Health Boards have been arranging and funding abortions in Britain came as no surprise to pro-life groups involved in the ultimately unsuccessful attempt to save the life of ‘Baby C’ in 1997. The fanatical determination of the Eastern Health Board to ensure that the abortion took place regardless of the cost either financially, or more important, psychologically for Miss C put us all on notice that more would follow, as part of a broader agenda.

The refusal of the Health Boards in question to outline the grounds on which they arranged these abortions, claiming that their silence was necessary to protect the anonymity of the girls, was absurd. In both the ‘X’ and ‘C’ cases the details of each was discussed at great length in public without any such threat of exposure. What is more likely is that these new cases would not stand up to public scrutiny and the Health Boards were protecting themselves.

Midland Health Board brings young mother for abortion

On Tuesday, 16 December 2003, the life of an Irish unborn child was ended. In this case, a health board, the Midland Health Board, had a teenage girl in their care. The girl became pregnant. The Health Board then had two persons in their care. Their solution, instead of protecting both, which was their duty, was to seek the death of one of them.

What is different here is that the Health Board was representing the citizen: it was not the action of individuals. The Health Board had on its Board, four elected representatives from each County Council, twelve medical staff employed by the Board, and one person appointed by the Minister for Health and Children: making twenty nine persons in all. The Chief Executive Officer was their servant, somewhat similar to a county council.

The young mother was 14/15 years of age, and her unborn baby was almost 24 weeks (5.1/2 months) old. This young girl’s own mother was not allowed to be present at the abortion.

Legal cover was obtained at a Community Hall at the village of Killucan, near Mullingar. Again, the mother's mother, an essential witness, was not facilitated to be at the Court hearing.

So, it was all deemed to be legal and above board. On Monday, 15 December, the child was alive, and on Tuesday, 16 December, that child was dead. All at the instigation of a "health" board.