Tag Archives: TFMR


Annie West tweetz:

Update! After two days – money going to @TFMRIRE [Parents affected by Fatal & Severe Foetal Anomalies] for my Together For Yes print is €5,560 Huge thanks to everyone who bought, using your @Twitter powers for good.

Give me a wee while to get them all out to you …


Previously: A Hill To Climb


Savita makes an appearance.


Last night, Prime Time ran an item on TFMR (Terminations For Medical Reasons) with Katie Hannon revealing correspondence between the Master of the Rotunda Hospital Dr Sam Coulter-Smith and the Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health highlighting safety concerns of women who travel to Britain for a termination and return to Ireland half-way through the procedure.

Niamh Uí Bhriain of The Life Institute described it “as abortion in the case of profound disability and the misinformation needs to be dealt with….where we’re talking about bringing in abortion because a child has a disability however profound.”

David McCullagh was then joined by Dr Peter Boylan of the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street and solicitor Caroline Simons of the Pro Life Campaign for the inevitable FIGHT.

Watch in full here.

Abortion: Medical concerns over new trend (Susan Mitchell, Sunday Business Post)

Previously: “Bad Law Makes Hard Cases”

When Dr Boylan Met Dr Kiely

Dr Peter Boylan and Breda O’Brien: The Transcript

“Would He Prefer For Both Of Them To Die?”



Abortion clinic


‘Rebecca’ became pregnant in September of last year.

When she had her 20 week scan In January, she discovered her son, Christopher Denis, had complications that were incompatible with life.

She spoke with Jonathan Healy of Lunchtime on Newstalk.

Rebecca: “We were given the options and told that basically the baby wouldn’t survive outside the womb and if he did – we didn’t even know it was a boy at the time – he could live for three seconds he could just take one breath and not come back from that breath or live for 3 minutes…. We could terminate or continue with the pregnancy… So the next day myself and my husband made the decision to terminate because the baby had no chance… Because I was so far gone you know, my time was running out basically to go to England … so from that day then I only had ten days left to make this, from that day to actually book in to go to Liverpool it took us 10 days.”

Jonathan Healy: “This was January 2014… so you would have been aware of all the discussion that had gone on about fatal foetal abnormality and the decision in the X case and the court case and all that and you would have listened to that not knowing you were going to find yourself in that position?”

Rebecca: “Of course… There are probably girls going into the hospital this morning and being told this and you never thought anything of it you thought you had a healthy pregnancy you had a healthy first pregnancy you thought this I thought this was the same and you know it wasn’t, totally different altogether.”

Healy: “And the decision to go for the termination? How difficult was that for you and your husband?”

Rebecca: “It’s so difficult. Myself and my husband were awake all night and you know itt’s just so difficult, you’d never think you’d be faced by this ever. And it’s not something you take lightly, you know, I’m totally against abortion… but termination for medical reasons is totally different but the other thing I’m totally against that even though we’ve been through this ourselves but that decision is one of the hardest decisions that any mother has to make. The hardest thing for me is making that decision knowing that my little baby was still kicking inside and you know, no mother should have to do that.”

Healy: “How else did the medical system deal with you here, because you were left with no choice…?

Rebecca: “I suppose the nurse’s hands are tied, they can’t do anything for you they can only advise you on what to do and that’s basically down to the law because it’s illegal, They can steer you in the direction of who to contact but that’s it they can’t do anything else for you. So basically you come out of the hospital after being given this information, that doctor in England doesn’t just take this on lightly they have to get your medical records and if they think your baby is going to survive they don’t do the procedure.”

Healy: “Yourself and your husband headed off to Liverpool. And when you got there you were going over on a flight presumably with people who were going away for the weekend?

Rebecca: “Crazy. There’s girls going on hen weekends and they’re all having their fun and rightly so and you’re sitting there and there are awful things going through your mind, you get off that plane then and you’re rushing to the hospital even the taximan trying to make small talk with you… they kind of know what you’re going for but it’s the most horrific journey I’ve ever had to take in my life. We were in Liverpool for football matches but this has totally changed for us I don’t think we could go to Liverpool again and not think why we were there the last time.”

Healy: “When did you find out the baby was a boy?”

Rebecca: “We actually found out when the doctor in Liverpool done the scan. Even when we got to Liverpool then and she was doing the scan she actually found there were more things wrong with Christopher Denis than actually thought. So he would have no chance…no chance at all.”

Healy: “So you have the termination and what happens then to an Irish woman in the Liverpool hospital who’s had that termination because, you know there are relatively swift procedures. How long did you stay in the hospital?”

Rebecca: “I was in the hospital, we got there on the 21st I think it was a Monday a Tuesday I think it was and it was 9.30 in the morning so basically I didn’t have Christopher Denis then I had him into the Wed morning on the 22nd. It’s not a procedure that is done straight away, you still have to have the baby, go through the labour process and the whole thing. I think people think you’re just brought in and it’s done straight away, it’s not.”

Healy: “So you actually delivered Christopher Denis?”|

Rebecca: “I actually delivered Christopher Denis, yes.”

Healy: “And you couldn’t do that in this country.”

Rebecca: “Couldn’t do that in this country no. So my baby was born in Britain. I had to go to another country for my, I must say, much-wanted baby. We planned our baby and everything and it didn’t happen for us that way so we had to go to England to have our baby.”

Healy: “Did you get to see him did you get to hold him.”

Rebecca: “Yes we got to hold him yes. We had Christopher Denis for 19 and half hours. So I had him at 2.15 into the Wednesday morning so we had to head back home that day.”

Healy: “So could you bring Christopher Denis with you?”

Rebecca: “No We had to leave our baby there as well.”

Healy: “And why was that Rebecca?”

Rebecca: “Because basically we wanted to have a post-mortem and I suppose whether to see for us to start a family again because us not knowing what was wrong with Christopher Dennis we needed the post-mortem. We had him on 22nd January we didn’t get our baby back until the 5th March.”

Healy: “So you would have gone home on the flight with the hen nights… and how did Christopher Denis come home.”

Rebecca: “Christopher Denis came home unfortunately in a little box delivered by TNT. You know when you have your baby all the balloons in the house…there was none of that. This is I don’t know the worst pain you can ever feel in your life. Myself and my husband never got to see the baby. The grandparents never got to see the baby. We have lovely photographs and everything of our baby but that’s all we have. Now I still have my baby at home, he comes to bed with his mammy and daddy every night but that’s how he came home. People don’t realise that how your baby is coming home. Your baby is coming home in a box.”

Dublin woman had “son’s remains delivered by TNT” after fatal foetal abnormality procedure (Newstalk)

Thanks Nadine Moloney

PIc: Guardian


On last night’s Tonight with Ger Colleran, Ger was joined by Caroline Simons (Pro Life Campaign), Dr Máire Nesta Nic Ghearailt (Every Life Counts), Dr Peter Boylan (National Maternity Hospital Holles St) and Ruth Bowie (TFMR)  to discuss abortion in cases of rape, incest and terminations for medical reasons (TFMR).

Ger Colleran: “You’re advocating that the medical or the legal prohibition on termination of such pregnancies [fatal foetal abnormalities] continue?”

Caroline Simons: “I’m advocating that the best position in the interests of women and in the interests of unborn babies is that there be a right to life for both and that the mother inevitably comes first because you cannot fail to look after a mother, without losing a baby as well.


Watch in full here.

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 10.33.12
Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 10.34.24

Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Tánaiste Joan Burton a number of topical questions on the final sitting of the Dáil before the summer recess (July 17) in light of the UN HRC hearings in Geneva.

The Labour Party leader firmly ruled out any hope of new legislation for victims of rape and incest and those seeking terminations for medical reasons (TFMR).

Deputy Catherine Murphy:
“This week’s damning review of our human rights practices by the United Nations Human Rights Committee makes for grim reading but it is hardly surprising. Our failure in regard to the Magdalen laundries survivors, the symphysiotomy survivors, those who spent time in mother and baby homes and those who were victims of clerical child abuse is shameful. However, we stand to repeat the mistakes of the past if we do not act to address the grossly discriminatory laws that govern abortion. The UN committee confirmed that we are in breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by denying women the option to avail of abortion in certain circumstances, namely, rape, incest, fatal foetal abnormalities and where a woman’s health is in danger. I would argue that we are not only in breach of the covenant but also in breach of basic humanity in denying an abortion to a woman who has been raped, is a victim of incest or has to endure carrying to full term a pregnancy when there is no prospect of delivering a live baby. I found it profoundly chilling to listen to the remarks of the principal officer of the Department of Health who told the committee that denying these women the right to abortion was the will of the people. I question what people are meant. The eighth amendment to the Constitution was inserted more than 30 years ago and attitudes have changed significantly since then, as recent polls have shown.

The Labour Party is a socially progressive party. The Tánaiste is the leader of that party as well as the deputy leader of this country, and she is also one of the few women in a decision-making role in this Government. Is she going to use her powerful position to bring about change in this area and, if so, how is she going to do that?”

Tánaiste: “In regard to the issues arising around fatal foetal abnormalities, the Deputy will be aware that some time ago the Government legislated successfully in regard to the X case. That is reflected in our legislation and is an issue that both parties in Government have addressed. In regard to fatal foetal abnormalities, I am on record as stating that I would like to see a situation where it is possible to address them. As of yet we do not have agreement on that in the programme for Government. It is a personal position and I have been on public record in this regard over a long period.

Deputy Catherine Murphy: “I know we have legacy issues and it is very uncomfortable to consider past failures in hindsight. We are asking how we allowed such things to happen and who was in power at the time, but will the pattern be repeated by people in power now, and will we have the same conversations in 30 years?”

Deputy John Halligan: “Exactly.”

Deputy Catherine Murphy: “The same committee might then be reviewing how the country dealt with issues like fatal foetal abnormalities, for example, or people who have been raped or subject to incest and who have been denied their human rights. The Tánaiste indicated her personal views are on the record but I ask her as Tánaiste – deputy leader of the country – and the leader of the Labour Party for her position on the issue.

I went to Liverpool Women’s Hospital with people who were part of a study group on fatal foetal abnormalities. People were put through a tortuous process where, for example, they would have had to retrieve the remains of a baby they wanted by way of something like DHL delivery, which is absolutely appalling. It is inhumane and we cannot rely on a 31 year old referendum decision, presuming that people have not moved on when so many events have taken place in this country. We need a referendum, as the Tánaiste knows, if we are to change that position. Does the Tánaiste accept we need a referendum and will she commit to working towards such a referendum?”

Tánaiste: “There has been an extensive process with the Constitutional Convention, which considered various issues and reported findings. As I pointed out, the Government and the Dáil has dealt with issues arising from the X case. Those had been unresolved over a very long period of years. We want a position in Ireland where every baby is a wanted baby. The Deputy spoke about cases and the people she accompanied in Liverpool, and those are tragic circumstances as the babies are wanted but their life outcomes were in doubt because of medical issues.

It was referenced in Geneva that on a previous occasion, the Irish people gave a view – as was their entitlement – on what they wanted reflected in the Constitution. I did not share the view at the time and my party and others like me recommended voting against the amendment to the Constitution. As a democrat, the Deputy must recognise that the people voted for the eighth amendment to the Constitution. The Government has legislated for and dealt with issues surrounding the X case, which has been a difficult issue in this country over a very long period. That is what was agreed in the programme for Government.

Deputy John Halligan: “So the Tánaiste will not agree to a new referendum.”

Leaders’ Questions July 17 2014

Previously: Violation Once Again

Without Consent

What The Man From The UN Said


Sir Nigel Rodley

Over the last two days the UN Human Rights Committee in open hearings in Geneva, Switzerland has been examining Ireland’s human rights record.

The committee’s chairman Sir Nigel Rodley closed proceedings today with an address that included the following..

Ireland’s treatment of women:

“the Magdalene Laundries, the Mother and Baby Homes, the child abuse, the symphysiotomy – it’s quite a collection and it’s a collection that has carried on [for a] period that it’s hard to imagine any state party tolerating. And I guess I can’t prevent myself from observing that [they] are not disconnected from the institutional belief system that has predominated in the state party.”

On Ireland’s laws on women’s reproductive rights:

“the recognition of the primary right to life of the woman who is an existent human being has to prevail over that of the unborn child and I can’t begin to understand by what belief system the priority would be given to the latter rather than the former. It is good to see that in 2013 at last that is clearly being clarified. I’m sorry that the clarification does not extend to the health of the woman.”

On the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act:

“Life without quality of life is not something many of us have to choose between, and to suggest that regardless of the health consequences of a pregnancy a person may be doomed to continue it at the risk of criminal penalties is difficult to understand, even more so arguably for rape where the person doesn’t even bear any responsibility and is by the law clearly treated as a vessel and nothing more.”

ICCL [Irish Council For Civil Liberties] Wholeheartedly Endorses Coruscating UN Comments on Ireland (ICCL)


“It doesn’t matter what people’s feelings are, Audrey. Sure, if 99% of people vote to have babies killed it doesn’t make it right and it doesn’t make it right what you’re doing. God doesn’t allow it. You are flying in the face of God, killing human beings which he has created and you will answer some day for it.”

Caller, ‘Mary’ responds to Audrey Simpson of the Family Planning Association on BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘The Nolan Show’ [with Stephen Nolan] this morning.

Mary opposes current proposals to change the law in Northern Ireland which could allow for abortion in TFMR cases and for victims of rape and incest.

Abortion: Justice Minister David Ford to consult on changing NI’s laws (BBC News NI)

Previously: Meanwhile, In Belfast

20/5/2013 Health Committees on AbortionThe Master of Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital has said Ireland’s prohibition on terminations for pregnant women in cases of fatal foetal abnormality should be addressed.

Dr Sam Coulter-Smith (above), in an interview with irishhealth.com, described as ‘crazy’ the current situation whereby women in cases where they are carrying infants with fatal foetal abnormalities are forced to travel to the UK for terminations.

“This issue will require separate legislation – that is something that does need to be addressed. The current situation is crazy. Ultimately we will come around as a society to that but it is an awful shame that we have this crazy situation where women who are carrying babies who have a fatal foetal abnormality are forced to travel to the UK.

Master calls for new termination law (Niall Hunter, IrishHealth.com)

Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

repro Cora(Johanna Westeson, top, from the Center for Reproductive Rights and Cora Sherlock of the Pro-Life campaign, above)

Today, the campaign group Terminations for Medical Reasons will take their petitions alleging human rights violations to the UN Human Rights Committee in relation to pregnant women diagnosed with fatal foetal abnormalities who have to travel outside of Ireland for terminations.

Last night James Burke, from the TFMR, and Clíona Johnson, from One More Day, appeared on RTÉ’s Prime Time. last night

They both told of their respective decisions when James’ wife Amanda and Clíona found out they were expecting a child with a fatal foetal abnormality. James and Amanda’s daughter had Edward’s Syndrome while Clíona’s son had anencephaly.

Amanda travelled to Liverpool for a termination. Clíona went full term here in Ireland and gave birth to her son before he died.

RTÉ presenter David McCullagh then invited Johanna Westeson, from the Center for Reproductive Rights, which has its headquarters in New York and is helping the TFMR with theirs petition, to speak. Ms Westeson was followed by Cora Sherlock, from the Pro-Life Campaign.

Ms Westeson, top, said Clíona had very important things to say. She also said nobody from the Center for Reproductive Rights or TFMR would tell a pregnant woman with a fatal foetal abnormality to have a termination. But she said any woman in Ireland must be given the option to have such a termination in this country, instead of having to “run off to another country like a fugitive”.

Ms Sherlock said:

“I think that every family has the right to meet their baby and I think what we’re seeing in this debate is the ongoing failure of this government to put those kind of facilities in place. As James said, we need to have separate facilities so that women who find out that their babies are terminally ill can go an meet other women in that position and get the kind of support. We need to look around the world, and see what’s happening in other countries, like in the US for example. I would encourage your viewers to go on to YouTube after this programme and look at a programme called 99 Balloons. It talks about Eliott Mooney who only lived for 99 days but it shows a kind of connection, as Clíona was talking about between mother and baby, that can, you know, create over that time. And also the fact that he went on to inspire his parents. When Eliott finally died, his parents were inspired to do a lot of work with disabled babies, in the aftermath.”

She then continued:

“Can I just make one other point, David. I’m quite concerned to see the Center for Reproductive Rights getting involved in this debate because what the viewers at home may not know is that they are very involved in campaigning for abortion rights throughout the world. So, you know, this is something that we are dealing with, in this country. We need to have a proper debate about how we’re going to address the situation and how we’re going to give support for families. And I just think it’s not really appropriate for an internationally-funded group to come in and get involved in that event.


You may recall how last December, the Sunday Business Post reported:

“The American Pro-Life Action League has said Irish pro-life groups are set for a significant financial boost as a result of fundraising campaigns across the US. The national director of the American Pro-Life Action League has said that Irish pro-life groups are set for a significant financial boost as a result of fundraising campaigns across the United States. Joseph Scheidler told The Sunday Business Post that members of the league, which has been active since the 1980s, would also be travelling to Ireland to take part in anti-abortion protests here. He said the donations involved could amount to several hundred thousands of dollars, and that a significant amount of the money raised would go to Youth Defence.”


Prime Time debate here from 35.40.

Hat tip: Fluffybiscuits


Stephen Nolan spoke this morning on BBC Radio Ulster with a newly married woman, Sarah who is pregnant.

She discovered after a scan that her foetus had anencephaly.

Under existing laws in Northern Ireland, Sarah is unable to procure an abortion for her condition.

Her options are to carry the foetus to full-term or travel to Britain for a termination.

As she is 20 weeks pregnant, there is only one clinic that will perform the procedure.

She describes how she was harassed and intimidated by protestors at a family planning clinic in Belfast.

Her story will feature tonight on The Nolan Show, BBC1 at 10:35pm.

Previously: Where Is Your Decency?

Choice Words

A Marie Stopes Protestor