Government should heed advice of medical professionals on rogue agencies

18 October 2017

Labour Party member of the Eighth Amendment Committee, Jan O’Sullivan TD has criticised the Government’s lack of clarity on regulating rogue crisis pregnancy agencies

Deputy O’Sullivan commented:

“Yet again today, the Taoiseach was unable to provide any clarity as to when regulations will be introduced on rogue crisis pregnancy agencies. The Taoiseach said it is of grave concern to him and the Minster for Health that these regulations are introduced, yet a year on since this story was broken by The Times Ireland, there seems to be no sense of urgency around introducing regulations.

“Last week at the Eighth Amendment Committee, following my questioning, the Irish College of General Practitioners called for regulation of counselling agencies in cases of crisis’ pregnancies.

“12 months ago, the Labour Party published a bill to regulate crisis pregnancy counsellors. In November, this Bill passed second stage in Dáil Éireann, and we were given a commitment by Minister Simon Harris that it would be progressed as a matter of urgency. Our Bill was scrutinised by the Oireachtas committee back in March and we were promised a statutory instrument to deal with the issue before the summer recess, which never materialised.

“While the debate around repeal of the eighth begins in communities across Ireland, there are women who right now are being lied to in the most grotesque fashion, at a time of exceptional vulnerability. Women in crisis pregnancy situations are being told that abortion increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer, or that women who have had abortions will later abuse or neglect their children.

“This behaviour is an appalling abuse of a position of trust and power, and it must be brought to an end.

“The Government needs to take heed of the advice of medical professionals such as the Irish College of General Practitioners and regulate these agencies.”

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