Solid evidence suggests that thousands of women availed of the three-day period for reflection and ultimately decided to proceed with their pregnancies – Mulroy
Commenting on a media report today which indicated the three-year review could see the removal of the three-day waiting period between appointments for an abortion, which was included as a key element of promised legislation prior to the 2018 referendum, Eilís Mulroy of the Pro Life Campaign said:
“If the recommendations are put into effect, it will without question lead to another significant rise in the number of abortions taking place in this country. Based on the number of initial appointments made in the first three years of the abortion law minus the total number of abortions carried out notified to the Minister for Health, we can see that 3,951 women did not proceed beyond the first consultation. Not all of these cases will have been women who changed their minds, but on balance, this is solid evidence to suggest that thousands of women availed of the three-day period for reflection and ultimately decided to proceed with their pregnancies.”
“The evidence from the first three years of the abortion law being activated shows that the three-day waiting period is helpful not only in giving time to decide and get past any initial sense of panic, but in providing a window of time during which other factors (such as an offer of help, or the obtaining of information on support services) can come into play, meaning fewer lives lost and fewer women hurt by abortion.”
“Many people who voted Yes in 2018 did so following assurances that this three-day period would be a central component of the eventual abortion law. It was part of the ‘strict guidelines’ which then-Tánaiste Simon Coveney said impacted his decision to call for a Yes vote. Meanwhile, some media outlets relied upon the three-day waiting period to ‘fact-check’ what they said were exaggerated claims.
“Research undertaken by partisan academics like Dr Catherine Conlon, which is now underpinning calls to remove the three-day waiting period, was deeply flawed as it failed to interview women who opted to continue with their pregnancies having availed of the three-day period for reflection. Some participants in the study, however, whilst expressing their own personal grievances with the three-day period, admitted ultimately the three-day waiting period is ‘for the best’ as it provides vital time for women unsure of their decision. As we know from an investigation by Students for Life, HSE MyOptions counsellors often encourage undecided women to avail of the three-day waiting period to reflect further on their options or seek supports.”
Ms Mulroy concluded: “More than 1 in 3 voters voted no and to retain Ireland’s pro-life laws in the 2018 referendum. This review has deliberately ignored the views of pro-life citizens at every step of this process. In contrast, even the most radical wings of the pro-abortion movement have been listened to and gained unprecedented levels of access to the government decision-making process. Despite there being no scientific or clinical basis to claims to remove the three-day waiting period, pro-abortion activists have made this their main call. This has been to the detriment of examining far more important issues which have arisen since 2019, such as the soaring abortion numbers and the clear lack of supports on alternatives to abortion for women.