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Greater steps must be taken to assist families affected by fatal foetal abnormality – O’ Reilly

9 August, 2016 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Responding to reports that the HSE and the Minister are to publish guidelines in respect of standards for bereavement care following a fatal foetal abnormality, Sinn Féin health spokesperson Louise O'Reilly has welcomed the first step to assisting families touched by FFA, but said there are greater steps to be taken.

Deputy O'Reilly said:

"I welcome that new guidelines will be published and that clinical and counselling services are to be reviewed for families affected by cases of fatal foetal abnormality, however much is yet to be done to meet the obligations under UN law.

"The government, while doing this, cannot sit back and still allow a practice where traumatised parents are forced to go abroad to terminate a pregnancy. This cannot be the only action taken.

“Irrespective of new guidelines or counselling services, the fact remains that people are still being forced to leave their own country, their support networks and their own medical teams to seek terminations and this is emotionally and psychologically scarring.  The UN found that Irish women are being denied protection from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and this measure will only partially address this.

"The state needs to do so much more than simply smooth the passage over and back for these families."

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