In reply to a Parliamentary Question (PQ) submitted by Offaly TD Carol Nolan, the HSE has confirmed that in the past four years close to €1 million of taxpayers’ money has been spent advertising the My Options hotline – the pro-abortion government established agency that links women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy with abortion providing GPs. Since 2019, in excess of €20 million of taxpayers’ money has been used to fund abortions and the roll-out of abortion provision in Ireland.
In answer to a separate PQ submitted by Labour Leader Ivana Bacik, the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly divulged that in addition to spending taxpayers’ money to advertise the My Options hotline, the HSE also have a management strategy and budget to ensure My Options outbids and stays ahead (in online search engine results) of groups that provide positive alternatives to abortion.
In his reply to Deputy Bacik’s question, Minister Donnelly referred to the challenges posed by “rogue” agencies and “disingenuous messaging” in the area of unplanned pregnancy. “Rogue Agency” is a code word in Minister Donnelly’s world for any pro-life group that offers help and support to women facing an unplanned pregnancy, regardless of how exemplary and beyond reproach the group or groups happen to be.
If Stephen Donnelly was genuinely bothered about “disingenuous messaging” and shoddy practices in unplanned pregnancy counselling, he would not have kept his silence for over a year now on the evidence that came to light in 2022 about the disturbing pattern involving My Options counsellors advising women to book their first appointment with an abortion-providing doctor, even in situations where the women made it clear they were unsure if they wanted to have an abortion at all. Minister Donnelly is in no position to be pointing the finger at others when he won’t even acknowledge, not to mention address, the appalling practices happening at the State run hotline.
Senator Sharon Keogan and others have been pressing Minister Donnelly for well over a year to make a public statement about the evidence brought to light by Students for Life (complete with transcripts) highlighting the pro-abortion outlook of My Options counsellors and why an immediate and thorough overhaul of the government backed agency is needed.
Think of the women who are genuinely conflicted about whether to go through with an abortion — who end up contacting the My Options hotline. My Options have shown that they are not equipped to meet the needs of these women and have nothing to offer other than abortion. It is an intolerable situation and we must keep the pressure on to bring about the changes that are needed. We must demand better from the government than automatically labelling any group who disagrees with them on abortion as “rogue”, while they turn a blind eye to the abuses and substandard practices happening at the State funded My Options hotline.