Government must reflect on third anniversary of Repeal and address unequal access to services - David Cullinane TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has called on the government to address the deficiencies and unequal access to services under the Termination of Pregnancy Act that remain three years on from the Repeal the Eighth referendum.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“The voters of this state made a decisive decision on May 25th 2018 to repeal the Eighth Amendment.
“Yet three years on, women are still travelling out of the state to access services that voters sought to regularise here.
“We cannot keep exporting and outsourcing healthcare.
“Some women who seek a medical abortion within the 12-week period have experienced an unsuccessful termination and have been forced to travel.
“Many women, particularly young women, are faced with the reality of not knowing they are pregnant in time to access services and are then forced to travel.
“Others have not been able to access services locally because only one in 10 GPs offer the services.
“No services, or extremely minimal services, are on offer in some counties.
“A significant number of maternity hospitals do not yet provide services.
“This affects women from rural areas and marginalised backgrounds the most.
“Ending health inequality means ending inequality of access to services across geographic and socio-economic grounds.
“And there remains serious difficulty for many women in accessing services where there are diagnoses of severe and likely fatal foetal anomalies.
“This is due to the overly prescriptive grounds and criminalisation, which prevents medical professionals from exercising their clinical judgement in difficult cases.
“Government must ensure that the voices of these women and clinicians are heard in the review of the Act and that these deficiencies and inequalities are addressed urgently."