“Her Words To Me Were: ‘This Is Not What I Voted For'”

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From top: The Coombe; Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger; People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith; Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl 

This afternoon.

In the Dáil, during Questions on Promised Legislation – which were taken by Tánaiste Simon Coveney.

Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger and People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith spoke about a pregnant woman Emma Connors, from Clondalkin, Dublin, whom they say has been refused a termination at the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital in Dublin, despite two consultants certifying that she needed a termination for a fatal foetal abnormality.

Ms Coppinger said the board of the hospital overruled the two consultants’ direction and asked her to wait four weeks to see if she has a spontaneous miscarriage.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl repeatedly asked the two politicians not to discuss a person’s medical situation during the Questions on Promised Legislation segment.

During her contribution, Ms Coppinger said:

“At 13 weeks this woman went for her 12-week scan. They could clearly see at that point that the organs of the foetus were outside of the body. They brought her back a week later where that was fully confirmed when they got a better image.

“One doctor, her consultant, and then another consultant was brought in and he said ‘yes, this is a fatal foetal abnormality’. But then, a week later, it went to the board. And the board have overruled that.

“…This is about the law…Ceann Comhairle, if you don’t mind..this is about…this is the second….a main maternity hospital in the capital city of this country is refusing this woman her constitutional rights when two doctors certify what is very clearly a fatal foetal abnormality.

“And it would seem to me that it’s because of the chilling effect of criminalisation that maternity hospitals are acting in this way. And don’t forget the Rotunda is only enforcing the law to 11 weeks which the minister has written to them about.

“I’m asking you to get the minister to meet this woman today. She should not have to pay to travel [to the UK] which is what she’s talking about doing if she doesn’t have her constitutional rights affirmed.”

Ms Smith said:

“I spoke to this woman last night. Emma Connors, she’s from Clondalkin. She’s pregnant on a much-wanted baby but she has been told by her doctors: you can go to England.

“Her words to me were: ‘this is not what I voted for, I have constitutional rights’. Now what are you Tánaiste [Simon Coveney] are you doing to do about it today? Not next week, today. She finds it hard to sleep, knowing that the condition, that her much-wanted child is in and she wants a termination. She’s entitled to it, this country voted for it.”

The Ceann Comhairle said:

“We cannot and will not have, in this chamber, a situation in which individual cases are brought up here and ministers called upon to adjudicate or comment upon medical situations. It is completely… the law is one thing, discussing individual medical circumstances is not appropriate, not appropriate, not in order.”

Simon Coveney said:

“The law is now clear in this area. The Government with the support of many in this house passed legislation in a way that was consistent with what we promised we would do in the context of the referendum that was taken.

“So the law is clear. But I agree with the Ceann Comhairle. I don’t think it’s appropriate, deputy, to raise a tragic case of somebody who is clearly under a lot of stress and this case needs to be dealt with appropriately by doctors in a hospital. Not on the floor of the Dáil.”

Ms Smyth told Mr Coveney the woman wanted it to be raised and she wanted to be named.

The Ceann Comhairle then said:

“Deputy, there are patients in hospitals across the country that might want various circumstances that they find themselves in, distressed, discussed here on the floor of the house, it hasn’t happened and it’s not going to happen now…you’ve raised your point, you’ve made your point, you’re out of order, you’re out of order, you’re out of order…”

Watch Dáil proceedings live here

Update:

UPDATE:

35 thoughts on ““Her Words To Me Were: ‘This Is Not What I Voted For'”

  1. Eoin

    What’s the board of the Coombe hospital got to do with this, hasn’t Emma got her two certifications? Where does the legislation allow a hospital board to overrule the cerification of two practitioners? Is the Coombe board stuffed with religious fundamentalists?

    “11. (1) A termination of pregnancy may be carried out in accordance with this section where 2 medical practitioners, having examined the pregnant woman, are of the reasonable opinion formed in good faith that there is present a condition affecting the foetus that is likely to lead to the death of the foetus either before, or within 28 days of, birth.

    (2) Of the 2 medical practitioners referred to in subsection (1)—

    (a) one shall be an obstetrician, and

    (b) the other shall be a medical practitioner of a relevant specialty.

    (3) A termination of pregnancy shall not be carried out under this section unless each of the medical practitioners referred to in subsection (1) has certified his or her opinion as to the matters referred to in that subsection.

    (4) The termination of pregnancy to which the certification referred to in subsection (3) relates shall be carried out—

    (a) by the obstetrician referred to in subsection (2)(a), or

    (b) where the medical practitioner referred to in subsection (2)(b) is also an obstetrician, by that obstetrician or the obstetrician referred to in subsection (2)(a).”
    http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2018/act/31/section/11/enacted/en/html#sec11

    1. scottser

      this. instead of going on in the dail about it, a stiffly worded letter from a solicitor should be enough to get the board of directors to comply with her constitutional rights.

      1. Dub Spot

        What a stupid answer. Like a) it would make any difference and b) the woman has side on her time.

      2. Cian

        1. Abortion isn’t a constitutional right.
        2. The legislation states what you are permitted to do, not what you must do.

  2. Ian-O

    Poor old Seán Ó Fearghaíl must have been fierce embarrassed having to listen to ‘women’s problems’ like that.

    If the Dail is not the place to bring up matters like this, matters that would usually be ignored, where is?

    He’s always been opposed to abortion so not surprised he shuts down anything to do with it. Perhaps he is correct on a procedural point but I suspect he brings his own views into his work regularly and ties himself in knots to find ways to shut down anything he finds personally objectionable.

    1. Dr.Fart MD

      agreed. even from just reading this transcript you can tell he’s got venom and anger in his response. Coveney backing him up, saying individual cases are not for the Dail, well i bet neither of these yellow bellies would object if Varadkar was bringing up individual cases. And imagine hearing this tragic situation and standing up to respond, and that’s what you respond with? it’s not for the Dail? I don’t want someone as heartless as that to be in charge of anything in my country.

      1. Ian-O

        Poor old Seán Ó Fearghaíl must have been fierce embarrassed having to listen to ‘women’s problems’ like that.

        If the Dail is not the place to bring up matters like this, matters that would usually be ignored, where is?

        He’s always been opposed to abortion so not surprised he shuts down anything to do with it. Perhaps he is correct on a procedural point but I suspect he brings his own views into his work regularly and ties himself in knots to find ways to shut down anything he finds personally objectionable.

        From the article above:

        “Deputy, there are patients in hospitals across the country that might want various circumstances that they find themselves in, distressed, discussed here on the floor of the house, it hasn’t happened and it’s not going to happen now…you’ve raised your point, you’ve made your point, you’re out of order, you’re out of order, you’re out of order…”

        Repeating himself like this is very telling. Sounds like he is trying to keep a grip on his temper.

        The woman wanted to be named so their attempts to pretend to have respect for her just dry up.

        Coveney only got on board the Repeal train at the last minute, a cynical little Pauline conversion that seems to be similar to Leo’s ”I’m gay now, forget the anti gay stuff I said in the past……”

        In a choice between the big boy job (Peter ‘Jabba the Sutt’ Sutherland told him he would do great things one day – for himself) and his ‘values’ Simon did the usual – looked to his own polling.

        1. A Person

          I completely disagree. Coppinger and Smyth are making a political statement and publicity making statement on a personal matter in our legislative chamber. Lets all bring our cases of ill relatives before the Dail – seriously? Btw, in case of spurious accusations, I believe that the woman is question has been treated horribly by the hospital and her so called politicians.

          1. Iwerzon

            wise up – they are quite rightly bringing to the attention of the Dail an issue around a very recent and contentious constitutional change which, by the sound of it, they were anticipating. Fair play to them and others for policing the whole issue. I hope the woman in question is accommodated in the first instance, that Harris and the Tánaiste make it happen and that the Coombe be fully investigated with full rigour.

  3. Dub Spot

    The Gammon are out to silence humanity and empathy again. Disgusting, but who expected attitudes to women and abortion to change overnight? It will be a fight the whole way…

    1. f_lawless

      but if someone can’t accept that there’ll always be individuals in the world who hod differing opinions on what abortion means to them, that’s not showing much empathy, is it?

  4. Ron

    This is the start of it. And all the usual bottomholes applauding the political boo boos for the great job they did on the referendum. Is there anything that this Government has done that hasn’t been a fupp up of monumental proportions? Inept clowns! The board blatantly breaching the law. Will they be arrested and jailed?

      1. Ian-O

        No idea, I am merely replying to Ron.

        However, irrespective of whether or not any laws were breached (and they probably weren’t), if they are overruling a medical diagnosis then they have no business being on the board.

      2. Ron

        There is a law that says she is entitled to it having met the criteria laid down. It’s the usual faeces show that we have come to expect from any thing this circus act of political boo boo turn their hand too.. Why doesn’t the boy Harris allow his testicles to drop and man up and withdraw funding from the hospital until they get their show in order. They wouldn’t be long about getting their house in order.

        I hope she pursues this to the nth degree. Is there a potential medical negligence case to be pursued?

        If this is all true well then the board need to be removed immediately!

        Inept, incompetent dipsos. Welcome to Ireland!

        1. Cian

          “There is a law that says she is entitled to it having met the criteria laid down.”

          That is not how the law works. She is not “entitled” to it.

  5. Daisy Chainsaw

    “Come back when it’s dead hun.” Wasn’t legislation just passed so a woman in her circumstance wouldn’t be tortured for weeks/months waiting for death in utero? The board needs to be removed if they won’t follow the law.

    1. Cian

      Daisy, it is terrible what is happening to the woman, but as I’ve said above, the board aren’t breaking the law. The law lays out the circumstances where abortion may be permitted. But it doesn’t say that an abortion *must* be performed.
      I agree that (if this is the full story) that the board needs to be removed because they are supposed to ensue the hospital operates in an ethical, legal and socially responsible manner, and they seem to have acted outside their remit.

  6. postmanpat

    Church is 100% to blame. But that doesn’t sit well with the mouth breathing plebs, so lets watch everyone point fingers at each other to gain political points. Like none of theses would have there daughters straight on a plane to the UK at the first whiff of heel dragging from some religious hospital zealot. See ALL you culcies in mass on Sunday. It’s the church , it’s always been the church. People who go to church are all idiots. complicit , fearful idiots, that will all and up in the same void we all go to when dead. Idiots! It doesn’t matter what laws we pass of what referendums we waste energy on. Democracy is an illusion in a country littered with church steeples.

    1. newsjustin

      Lol

      Nothing to do with corporate governance in a hospital that isn’t and never was anything to do with the Church?

  7. kellMA

    Right, so the board of the coombe seem to be a shower of backward fundamentalists. Could she go to the Rotunda or indeed Holles Street with her letters? I would have thought it unlikely she would get the same response there given Dr O Mahoneys stance? This instead of having to trot off to the UK.
    They should not be allowed to get away with this.

    1. postmanpat

      Bogger nurses and doctors related to guards, priest and nuns will do what those priests and nuns tell’em to do. Bunch of muck savages. Small towns, up and down the country, everyone knows each other business, Christ! it’s like the wickerman. “heard you where home last weekend, didn’t see you in church ” . The referendum was a pointless sillyboo it seems . Not surprising with the amount of god fearing, crucifix necklace wearing plebs in our institutions.

      1. newsjustin

        Your comment about nurses and doctors makes no sense. It is two doctors who have signed off on the abortion.

        Also, “didn’t see you in church”. Lol. You haven’t been outside of Dublin in a very, very long time, have you?

  8. otherwan

    Where is this so-called “constitutional right” to Abortion?

    Methinks Coppinger is talking out her botty bummkins.

    She didn’t care too much about constitutional rights when she was lobbying to repeal the eight amendment.

    Now she’s giving out because why? A hospital with principles is refusing to carry out an act of human destruction?

    Are we now going to force people to ignore their conscience in favour of this barbarous ideology which alleges a constitutional right to murder?

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      Raaar… RAAAARRRRR!!! NO BABBY KILLIN’ HERE, YA GODLESS PRODS.

      Let it die naturally in a few months when all its pain receptors are fully functional and those organs outside the body mean horrible suffering. It’s the catholic thing to do.

    1. A Person

      In relation to you previous comment, which cannot reply to for some reason, it is shameless to bring this up in the Dail. Why not approach Leo and Harris directly. No, let’s get some publicity as we have not been in the news for a while. I bet if I approached them both about getting care for my elderly uncle it would not be mentioned in the Dail chamber (despite his constitutional rights). How dare they even mention her name?

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