23.06.2009 HSE must clarify position after abortion comments

23.06.2009 HSE must clarify position after abortion comments

23rd June 2009

HSE Must Clarify Its Position After Abortion Comments

The Pro Life Campaign has described as “grossly insensitive” the HSE statement issued last Friday, which claimed the non-availability of abortion in Ireland was responsible for delays affecting some operations at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin. Commenting on the HSE statement, Ms Geraldine Martin of the Pro-Life Campaign said:

Parents of children with special needs have every reason to be disgusted by such a grossly insensitive statement.

If the HSE repudiates the notion of singling out disabled unborn children for abortion then its statement should have said so. Instead the HSE opted for cold clinical language sending a message that it is more concerned about costs than care when it comes to helping the most vulnerable members of society.

It is not good enough for the HSE to claim no offence was intended in mentioning abortion. It's no secret that some people working in the health service believe there are children in their care who should never have been born.

At the heart of this controversy is the issue of respect for the inherent dignity and value of every human being. 

A civilised society is not built on measuring how much it costs to care for those most in need. The sign of a civilised society is one that welcomes everyone in life, particularly the vulnerable and marginalised.

The HSE certainly needs to clarify its position and reassure parents that it cherishes the lives of all children in its care equally regardless of condition or disability.