Profits before People
Reading time: 3 mins
Politicians have been discussing the possible introduction of abortion for months now.
Yet voters have been told very little about how abortions will actually be performed here.
Doctors aren’t sure either. The association representing Irish GPs has expressed “outrage” and “alarm” about how the Government expects them to provide abortion pills without even consulting them first.
A recent poll of Irish GPs shows that three quarters of them disagree with the Government’s policy, and only 15% of GPs are even willing to dispense the abortion pills.
The abortion industry comes to towN
Who then will provide abortions, if the GPs will not?
The answer is that the majority of Irish abortions will instead be performed by the international abortion providers, as happens elsewhere.
In Britain, for example, the National Health Service funds most of the over 200,000 abortions which take place annually.
That is not to say that all of those abortions take place in NHS hospitals, within the public health service.
Huge numbers of abortions are instead carried out each year by well-known providers such as Marie Stopes International, BPAS, and other smaller private abortion clinics dotted across the UK.
In fact, in 2011, The Telegraph reported that more public money was being spent on funding abortions in private clinics than was being spent on providing them within NHS hospitals.
Of the £118m of taxpayers’ money spent on abortions in 2010, £75m had gone to private clinics.
These are serious sums, and given the two-tier structure of Irish healthcare, it is certain that we will see the same trend over here should we repeal the 8th Amendment.
Private clinics, operating outside the public system, will end up receiving vast sums of public money to perform abortions.
British abortion providers are likely to enter the Irish market, and some of them have been embroiled in many scandals in recent times.
Marie Stopes carries out around 70,000 abortions in the UK annually. It’s a global player too, and operates across 37 countries.
In August 2016, a review by Britain’s Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that Marie Stopes staff had “limited training” in actual healthcare and that employees had been “bulk-signing” forms authorising abortions.
In one particular clinic, staff were caught “obtaining consent from a woman with a learning disability” after having “failed to ensure she understood the procedure.”
The scandal was so serious that Marie Stopes had to completely suspend abortions for vulnerable women and girls under 18.
A year prior to this, a doctor and two nurses who had worked at a Marie Stopes clinic faced trial accused of the manslaughter by gross negligence of a woman from Ireland. The woman died in their clinic having gone there for an abortion.
Patient safety doesn’t seem to have improved since then. Another official CQC report in 2017 showed that nearly 400 botched abortions had been carried out in just two months.
Is this what we can expect in Ireland, after the 8th Amendment is removed from the Constitution?
Marie Stopes operated a clinic in Belfast between 2012 and 2017, and they will no doubt return to Ireland should the 8th be repealed.
Remember: all of this incompetence and profiteering has occurred in the country which produced the widely-acclaimed NHS.
If the NHS cannot protect British women from these scandals, then surely the HSE won’t be able to, either.
Again, knowing everything we know about the Irish healthcare system, how could Irish voters believe that decision-makers and private operators will put the interests of people – born or unborn – before profit?
It the 8th Amendment is repealed, a new industry will develop in Ireland.
It will be one which speaks in terms of compassion and trust, but seeks financial gain at every turn, regardless of the human cost.