Regulating The Agencies



You may recall how Ellen Coyne and Catherine Sanz, of The Times Ireland Edition, went undercover at an ‘abortion advice’ centre in Berkeley Street, Inns Quay, Dublin 7.

Last month, they reported how a woman working at the clinic, who claimed to be a counsellor, told Ms Sanz that when a pregnancy ended unexpectedly a woman’s reproductive system could be damaged and that it could cause breast cancer.

Ms Sanz was also told that abortion could lead to women abusing their children in the future.

Further to this…

Ms Coyne reports this morning:

Unregulated crisis pregnancy agencies will be made illegal under a new bill proposed in response to an undercover investigation by The Times.

Brendan Howlin, the Labour leader, is hoping to pass the “much-needed” legislation as soon as possible after a clinic run by a Catholic group was exposed claiming that abortions could cause breast cancer and turn women into child abusers.

The bill, introduced to the Dail yesterday, would amend the Health and Social Care Professionals Act to add crisis pregnancy counsellors to the list of health professions regulated by the state. The move would make them subject to checks and any complaints against them would be examined.

… The [Women’s Centre on Berkeley Street] centre is linked to the Good Counsel Network, a Catholic anti-abortion group that holds protests outside clinics in Britain and has defended the Magdalene laundries. It is also connected to a man who was found in a 1999 High Court case to have used a similar clinic to illegally adopt a baby from a woman who had been talked out of an abortion.

Labour bill targets rogue crisis pregnancy agencies (The Times Ireland edition)

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8 thoughts on “Regulating The Agencies

  1. DubLoony

    Fair play to Brendan Howlin. I hope there is the necessary cross party support for this change.
    Would be interested to know how these places have been funded for so long as well.

  2. Lorcan Nagle

    Given that sources of information on how to travel are strictly regulated, it’s pretty nuts that anyone can set up an abortion advice clinic.

    1. DubLoony

      Their advice is “don’t have an abortion” and guilt women with fake information. Women in crisis pregnancies need support and non directive counselling.
      At a minimum, factual information.
      Telling people that they will become child abusers, get cancer and other nasty lies is just plain wrong.

      1. Harry Molloy


        and I respect the opinion of the majority of the pro-life side but medical misinformation cannot be condoned

  3. psicic

    Well, given that the Health and Social Care Professionals Act (2005) has been in place more than 10 years and 6 of the 12 original professions listed in it are still unregulated by the agency set up to do so, CORU, I am sure they’ll have no problem adding ‘crisis pregnancy counsellors’ to the list. (see – it now covers 13 professions since they took over the existing regulator of opticians)

    I just wonder how long it will be before they are ACTUALLY regulated and someone can make a complaint if this is the route taken?

  4. Kieran NYC

    Given the make up of the new Dail, it should be possible to pass easily, even if the government are against it.

    Fingers crossed.

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