Friday 19 July 2019

'Grossly insensitive' anti-abortion protest at maternity hospital with three small baby-sized coffins condemned by Harris

The vigil outside of Holles Street Hospital
Photo: Catholic Arena/Twitter
The vigil outside of Holles Street Hospital Photo: Catholic Arena/Twitter
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

A PROTEST by an anti-abortion group in which three small baby-sized coffins were placed on the ground outside the National Maternity Hospital in Holles St has been condemned as “grossly insensitive” by Health Minister Simon Harris.

The Catholic Arena group posted a photo on their Twitter account showing the "weekly peaceful vigil at Holles Street Maternity Hospital."

They said three small baby sized coffins were placed on the ground to represent the thousands of babies denied the right to life in Ireland since January 1.

In response the minister said that: "Once again, some anti-abortion protesters continue to show disregard for women availing of a range of services in Holles Street.

"Their so called 'protest' is grossly insensitive to women who may be in hospital after suffering a miscarriage or women who are receiving the devastating diagnosis of a fatal foetal abnormality. It is cannot be tolerated or accepted."

Referring to proposed plans for exclusion zones  to control such demonstrations he said: "Regarding the  proposals on safe access, this has taken far longer than I expected but I hope to have proposals on this matter shortly.

"While the Department has continued to engage with the Attorney General and indeed An Garda Siochana, I want to assure women and healthcare staff that there is existing legislation in place to protect them and to protect patients.

"The result of the referendum last year gave the Government a strong mandate to introduce termination of pregnancy services and it remains my priority that the legalisation is fully implemented so that all women in Ireland can access these services quickly and easily without basis or judgment."

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