Friday 2 December 2016

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald reveals she had two miscarriages

Published 02/01/2016 | 09:45

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald Photo: Damien Eagers
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald Photo: Damien Eagers

THE Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has revealed that she had two miscarriages as she attempts to help break what she considers one of the main taboos of today's Ireland.

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In an interview with the Irish Examiner today, Ms Fitzgerald said that she fears a lot of young couples wrongly believe they can easily plan to get pregnant because of the prevalence of contraception.

“They are marked in my memory," she said of her miscarriages.

"I remember going into the hospital and being told and then the shock. The whole thing around it,” she said.

“But now more than when I had my miscarriages — it is a long time since then — but now for young women and men, it is a real shock. They get a bit despairing. ‘Is this really happening to me?’ they ask.”

Approximately 14,000 women have a miscarriage in Ireland each year.

Ms Fitzgerald said she went on to have a second and third pregnancy after her miscarriages, which allowed her to put some perspective on it. However, she fears that younger generations do not believe that miscarriages are part of some natural order as people wait until later in life to try to have children.

She described the area as hugely sensitive.

The Dublin Mid-West TD said the entire issue of miscarriage is tremendously sensitive but she wants to give women more a voice when it comes to maternity issues.

“I have great faith in the individual judgement of women, especially when it comes to pregnancy,” she told the Irish Examiner.

“I have had five pregnancies myself, I have had two miscarriages, I know what it is like to give birth and the sensitivities around that.

"I find sometimes that women are spoken about in a demeaning manner, and about the complications of birth.

“Look at our maternity services. I got involved by joining the child birth trust in England to give women a voice in the maternity hospitals and we still struggle with that issue.”

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