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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 22 December, 2014

Independent investigation into crisis pregnancy counselling services established

The Health Service Executive confirmed the external inquiry at an Oireachtas meeting yesterday.

The IFPA is one of the agencies involved in the probe.
The IFPA is one of the agencies involved in the probe.
Image: Photocall Ireland!

THE HSE HAS established an independent investigation into the information provided by State-funded Crisis Pregnancy Counselling services in Ireland.

Director General Designate Tony O’Brien told the joint committee on Health & Children last night that the move comes after an internal review of the services.

“Based on the findings from an internal review carried out by the HSE, I have established an independent investigation,” he said.

The inquiry will be chaired by Bridget McManus, former Secretary-General of the Department of Education and Science.

The terms of reference are currently being finalised and O’Brien said he expects the investigation to conclude “expeditiously”.

The probe will examine allegations that women were given medically dangerous advice during one-to-one counselling sessions. The allegations were first reported in the Irish Independent following an investigation by a team of women, some from the pro-life movement. According to the newspaper, they secretly recorded counsellors at 11 locations over a lengthy period of time. It is alleged that some counsellors advised women to hide their abortions from doctors.

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