It was confirmed this week that half of the country’s maternity hospitals are still not carrying out abortions, two years on from the legislation being passed opening the door to abortion. The Government and Department of Health are fully aware that many of the obstetricians working in these hospitals don’t regard abortion as ‘healthcare’ in any, way shape or form.

It is a very delicate matter therefore trying to impose abortion on these hospitals as the last thing the Government want is senior obstetricians making public statements challenging the line being touted by abortion supporters that abortion is healthcare.

In a letter to the Oireachtas Health Committee this week, the secretary general of the Department of Health confirmed that efforts were being made to ensure the rollout of abortion in all 19 maternity units across the country but he stated that the Covid pandemic had impacted the ability of the Department to engage in face-to-face meetings with staff in the relevant hospitals on the issue of abortion access.

The secretary general also confirmed in his letter to the committee that the 3-year review of the new abortion law will be conducted this year following a three strand approach, with people who have accessed abortion, those who have carried out abortions and the general public all being consulted on the issue. The suggestions and recommendations from the review will then be presented to the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly. It remains to be seen how precisely this process is going to operate.

The Citizens Assembly’ and Oireachtas hearings carried out in 2016 and 2017 prior to the abortion referendum were a complete sham from start to finish. In the case of the Oireachas hearings, 24 pro-repeal ‘experts’ were invited to give presentations, with just 3 representatives from the pro-life side invited to present. We need to strongly lobby our elected representatives to ensure the public consultation taking place this year isn’t a repeat of the farce that took place in the run up to 2018.