International

Ireland is reportedly not collecting data on at-home abortion complications

Ireland, birth rate

The Republic of Ireland’s health care system is not collecting data about any complications that arise from at-home abortions, the Irish Examiner reports.

The admission came from one parliamentarian, who inquired about the information in the form of a Parliamentary Question. The minister was forced to admit that Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) was not collecting that vital data, which would give a clearer picture as to how the newly-expanded abortion scheme was impacting the women and girls of the country.

Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, in April of 2020, Ireland moved to allow the two visits required with the abortion pill to be carried out entirely virtually. Prior to this move, an in-person visit determining gestational age and other information was required. A face-to-face interaction also meant a patient with any complications was closely followed. However, when the rules for first trimester abortions were amended, these in-clinic visits were downgraded to virtual or over-the-phone consults. Although the move was intended to be temporary, recent reports indicate that the current Minister of Health intends to make the move permanent.

READ: In the face of hostility, pro-life activists continue to protest legalized abortion in Ireland

The move has been hailed by pro-abortion campaigners in Ireland, who have applauded the “innovative” response by the government. “Whilst there is a paucity of analysis conducted by the HSE pertaining to the benefits of telemedicine during Covid-19 for the prescription of abortion pills, we know that the introduction of telemedicine has been welcomed by health professionals and patients alike,” said the Abortion Rights Campaign to the Examiner. “It was an innovative response by the government, one we know they got international praise for. The Abortion Rights Campaign recommends that telemedicine services introduced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic be made a permanent feature of abortion provision.”

Kevin Duffy, a former consultant for abortion chain Marie Stopes International who is now a pro-life independent consultant and health researcher, has sounded the alarm about the essential nature of the safety data before permanently implementing a scheme that could see an increase in hospitalizations. According to a Freedom of Information investigation, 1 in 17 women in England and Wales had some kind of complication from a self-managed chemical abortion, necessitating hospital treatment for 12,000 women since its approval. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) routinely under-reported the rate of complications to the tune of less than 1 in 5. This mirrors data reported by Marie Stopes Australia and the US, Live Action News has reported.

Recent data has shown that in England and Wales, emergency calls due to complications of self-managed abortions increased 100%, as Live Action News noted. This has prompted two former presidents of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow to call for an end to at-home abortions.

As Live Action News has pointed out, the abortion pill has ended the lives of 4 million preborn babies since first approved in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration, and is linked to 24 deaths and an estimated 4,000 adverse events.*

* Editor’s Note: The FDA has received reports of serious adverse events in women who took Mifeprex. As of December 31, 2018, there were reports of 24 deaths of women associated with Mifeprex since the product was approved in September 2000, including two cases of ectopic pregnancy resulting in death; and several cases of severe systemic infection (also called sepsis), including some that were fatal. The adverse events cannot with certainty be causally attributed to mifepristone because of concurrent use of other drugs, other medical or surgical treatments, co-existing medical conditions, and information gaps about patient health status and clinical management of the patient. A summary report of adverse events that reflects data through December 31, 2018 is here.

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