The maternity and infant scheme entitles women to free antenatal care – should it also apply to abortions?
By SPUC—the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
Ireland is also set to export abortion through aid
An Irish TD [member of the Irish Parliament] has called for women to get full pay when they take time off work to have an abortion.
Donegal Deputy Thomas Pringle said that the existing maternity and infant scheme (which entitles pregnant women to free visits with their GP and obstetrician) could be extended to grant time off work for women having an abortion. “Ultimately, it’s the only way to ensure full pay because some employers don’t pay sick pay at all,” he said. “Some mechanism needs to be set up to ensure they get some form of sick pay.”
Free abortions in paid healthcare system
Just 24 hours after Ireland’s constitutional protection of the unborn ended with President Michael D Higgins’ signing into law of the referendum result, Health Minister Simon Harris announced that abortion would be provided free on the health service, at the expense of the tax-payer.
Unlike in the UK, under Ireland’s two-tier healthcare system, nearly 70 per cent of the population has to pay fees for healthcare services. A trip to accident and emergency costs €100, a stay in hospital €80, and a GP visit €45-75.
Abortion, which is available on demand up to 12 weeks without reference needed to the woman’s health, is provided free of charge. A TD who tabled [introduced] an amendment to try and prevent tax-payer funding of abortion was subject to vicious personal attacks.
Exporting abortion overseas
It was also reported over the weekend that the ban on Irish money being used to fund abortions overseas is likely to be lifted in the wake of the referendum result.
The Department of Foreign Affairs says it will launch a new initiative on “sexual and reproductive health and rights” in the developing world as part of the work of Irish Aid, the development aid programme of the government.
The department said it was “analysing the implications of the changes in our national legislation” for the work on sexual and reproductive rights.
Less than a year after removing their own constitutional protection from the unborn, the Irish Government is planning to export abortion to other countries.