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EXPLAINER: Late-Term Abortion in Ireland

3D ultrasound of foetus in utero Photo Credit: Shutterstock

A peer-reviewed study of doctors performing late-term abortions in Ireland was conducted by three University College Cork academics.  It was published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and can be viewed here.

The study revealed that late-term abortions were taking place in Ireland, and that one method of abortion being used was feticide. The British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology has clarified that involves injecting the baby with potassium chloride into the heart to induce a fatal heart attack.

The use of potassium chloride on death row has been a long-standing practice and one fraught with disturbing instances of sedatives not having any effect and those injected with the corrosive substance experiencing excruciating pain before cardiac arrest and death.

Its use in late-term abortions is a lesser-known fact, and fetal pain experts have testified to the fact that not only does the baby feel pain in second and third trimester abortions, but that the injected chemical causes the unborn baby severe pain before stopping his/her heart.

Doctors who performed these late-term abortions in Ireland told the study that it felt like ‘stabbing the baby in the heart’ and that they had to go out into the corridors and get sick afterwards.


Despite this, the government and the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly have refused to discuss the issue in the Dáil, even as another study confirmed that senior Irish doctors are undergoing “international training” in a controversial late-term abortion method known as Dilation and Evacuation (or dismemberment abortion), with a view to carrying out such abortions in this country.


Babies born alive after abortion in Ireland

The issue of babies being born alive after terminations of pregnancy or failed abortions has been reported around the world, but the peer-reviewed study of Irish doctors confirms that it is also happening here.

Instead of attempting to save the baby’s life by giving it intensive care using an incubator, the doctors report a lack of even palliative care in some circumstances.

The result of depriving the newborn of intensive care to save his/her life means the baby’s lungs are typically the first organ to fail, causing his/her death.


Politicians said there would be no late-term abortions

In 2018, Irish politicians dismissed a motion to give life-saving treatment to babies born alive after abortions.

The legislation passed that year, and currently in effect, allows abortion right up until birth on babies with severe disabilities which mean they are likely (not certain) to die within 28 days following birth.

The term “fatal foetal abnormality” is not mentioned in the legislation despite the misleading impression given that babies born with life-limiting conditions always die during or quickly after birth.

Indeed some of these babies with life-limiting conditions who were given a chance at life are now teenagers, contradicting the claim that these severe disabilities are always fatal.

During the campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment of the Irish constitution, which gave babies an equal right to life with their mothers, government politicians who favoured removing Ireland’s ban on abortion promised the electorate that there would be no late-term abortions in Ireland.


Once the public had voted to remove the 8th Amendment, those politicians went back on their word and voted to legalise late-term abortion, whilst the Health Service Executive continue to advise those who have abortions before 9 weeks to flush the remains of the unborn baby down the toilet.


⁣On the Streets of Dublin: People react to the late term abortion happening in Ireland



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