C: Slaven Orsolic / Scopio

103 women claim from State over Adverse abortion Incidents: another rise since November

The number of women making a claim against the State for adverse outcomes of abortion have now risen to 103 since the legislation was introduced, new figures show. 

The Department of Health confirmed to Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD that since the enactment of the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Act in 2019, the State Claims Agency has received a total of 103 claims or notifications of ‘adverse incidents’ relating to the legislation.

The Aontú leader has called on the Minister to provide further detail on this figure.

“There are serious questions to be answered here. We know there are 103 claims with the State Claims Agency, an extraordinary figure. The Minister needs to request further data on these claims – presumably mothers are making claims against the State after having abortions, after suffering an ‘adverse incident’,” Deputy Tóibín said.

“It is incumbent on the government to seek more detail on these incidents. 103 seems like a very high number of claims,” he added.

“We’re all aware of the horrific case in Holles Street, where baby Christopher was aborted after his parents were incorrectly told that he was terminally ill. I am aware of other cases of a similar nature to these. We need a proper investigation into that scandal, and assurances from the Minister that such a thing will never happen again,” the Aontú leader said.

“The HSE promised that new guidelines would be drawn up to ensure that this would never again. But once the tragic story fell out of the media headlines new guidelines never materialised. There will be an in depth abortion legislation review taking place in the state. Yet we cannot get confirmation from the Minister if the circumstances of these 103 adverse claims will feed into the analysis of the abortion review. How do you review abortion legislation and not study why mothers are bring cases against the state on the basis of that legislation,” he said.

“Unfortunately within the government there seems to be a certain group think on the issue of abortion – the idea that we had that discussion a few years ago, and therefore we cannot talk openly about the issue anymore. We have an extremely sad figure of more than 13,243 babies aborted over the first two years of the new law. In truth each of these is an adverse incident. In each case the life of an individual living human being has been ended,”

“Now we know also that 103 claims of ‘adverse incidents’ have been notified to the State Claims Agency. In each of these cases there is a mother and a family severely affected. The government cannot ignore this human and financial cost, and must provide information to prevent them happening again”, said Deputy Tóibín.

The Aontú leader later called out Twitter for what he saw as a move to block him posting his findings and comments in the Dáil on the platform.

Last November, the Agency also told Independent TD for Laois-Offaly Carol Nolan that 94 incidents relating to abortion provision had been reported to the 26th October 2021.

At the time Deputy Nolan said “it was astonishing these outcomes were only being made known because she had asked a private question of the Minister through the Dáil.”

“My own view is that replies like the one I have received today once again highlight the urgent need for full disclosure around how the law is harming women. It is profoundly alarming to me that none of this information ever seems to make its way into our discussions around the reality of abortion provision in Ireland. Anything that challenges the narrative of ‘safe’ abortion provision is fiercely resisted. That is a deliberate political and policy stance that actively harms women,” said.

Today, Life Institute said that it was “alarming” that the numbers of cases of adverse incidents continued to rise but were being ignored by the media and the government.

“Clearly the government is not really interested in the adverse outcomes women have after abortion,” the Institute said in a statement. “We need a radical rethink of abortion and an end to the cover-up and lack of accountability.”

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