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Dublin: 4 °C Sunday 15 December, 2019
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Women who had medical terminations to share experiences with TDs

TFMR will gather at Leinster House this afternoon.

Image: Heartbroken via Shutterstock

A NUMBER OF expert witnesses, including a former Supreme Court judge and the current Master of the Rotunda Hospital, told the Oireachtas committee on health during its hearings on proposed abortion legislation that it was disappointing and regrettable that women who travel to the UK for medical terminations because their babies are not “compatible with life” were not provided for.

The omission has proved upsetting and baffling to those women who have experienced what they describe as the harrowing trip to Liverpool Women’s Hospital and other medical facilities in the UK to undergo the procedure.

The group campaigning for the rights of these women – TFMR (Terminations for Medical Reasons) – are to meet with a number of TDs and Senators in the Dáil this afternoon to share their stories.

At least 10 members are expected to attend, with a handful due to highlight how travelling to the UK compounded their loss and difficulties. Sarah McGuinness Moylan, who recently spoke to TheJournal.ie about her baby girl Molly, will talk about how she was forced to leave Ireland at such a painful time.

The meeting is due to take place at 2pm in Leinster House. It is not clear how many invited members of the Oireachtas will attend.

On the third day of the Jerry Buttimer-chaired hearings, medical ethics lawyer Dr Ruth Fletcher of Keele University suggested that it would be possible to include fatal foetal abnormalities in the proposed legislation if the definition of ‘unborn’ was changed to include foetuses which cannot survive outside the womb.

Buttimer told TheJournal.ie that he would attend today’s meeting if a morning appointment with the Minister for Health was finished on time. He said there was no disrespect intended by not offering the women a place in the hearings, but added that the committee decided to focus on  medical and legal experts only.

TFMR continues to meet and offer support to women whose babies have been diagnosed with fatal foetal abnormalities. The group’s website can be found here. They can be reached by email: tfmrireland@gmail.com. Support group Leanbh mo Chroi can also be found on Facebook, or contacted by email at leanbhmochroi@gmail.com or by telephone on 086 747 4746.

Letter: TFMR ‘disappointed’ at exclusion from abortion hearings

Medical Terminations: ‘Ours is a very specific, heartbreaking and clear-cut case’

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