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Pro-life TDs try to find out how many 'live birth' abortions were carried out in Ireland

But Leo Varadkar says no.

A NUMBER OF pro-life TDs tried and failed to get further information on the 26 abortions that were carried out under the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Act last year.

In parliamentary questions submitted last week, Fianna Fáil TD Éamon Ó Cuív, who voted against the legislation two years ago, sought details on the number of terminations carried out under the new law that resulted in a “live birth”.

Other pro-life TDs, independent Mattie McGrath and Renua’s Terence Flanagan also sought further information on the 26 terminations. Flanagan asked whether “the baby survived the procedure” in any of the 26 cases.

The procedures were carried out under the law which allows for the termination of pregnancies in cases where there is a risk to life of the mother, including suicide.

ocuivmcgrath Éamon Ó Cuív and Mattie McGrath Source: RollingNews.ie

However, Health Minister Leo Varadkar told the deputies that the new law does not permit the publication of any further details about the cases.

The information published on these procedures is restricted in order to limit the risk of identification in what is a private, confidential matter between women and their doctors.

Last month, Varadkar disclosed that under the Act a total of 26 terminations were carried out in Ireland last year.

These included 23 cases that related to the woman’s health and three to potential suicide.

The Department of Health said that 14 cases arose from a risk to the life of the mother arising from physical illness, three arose from a risk to the life of the mother from suicide, and nine from a risk to the life of the mother from emergencies arising from physical illness.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 16.15.20 The parliamentary questions submitted to Leo Varadkar and answered this week

In a parliamentary question submitted last week, Ó Cuív asked for:

… the number of terminations carried out under the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act that resulted in a live birth in 2014 broken down between terminations arising out of suicidal ideation and by a direct medical risk to the life of the mother; the number of these children who are still alive; the gestation period at which all the terminations reported were carried out; the main medical conditions that caused the terminations to be carried out in each case…

McGrath sought information regarding “the gestational age for each of the 26 terminations which were carried out under the Act”.

While Flanagan also asked for details about the terminations carried out under the Act including whether, in any of the 26 cases, “the baby survived the procedure” and for details of “the gestational age of the babies” in each of the 26 cases.

Sinn Féin health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, who supported the legislation two years ago, also sought details about the terminations carried out under the Act, including:

… the number of pregnancies that were delivered by caesarean section, the mother having requested a termination; the gestation period of the pregnancies terminated in the report; the way the real and substantial risk to the life level of risk was assessed; if this will be made aware to clinicians so that this information may be fed into clinical decision-making…

Read: 26 terminations carried out in Ireland under new abortion laws

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Hugh O'Connell

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