Thursday 19 July 2018

State could cover foetal returns

Health Minister Simon Harris Picture: Frank McGrath
Health Minister Simon Harris Picture: Frank McGrath
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

Women who have an abortion in the UK after their baby is diagnosed with a fatal foetal abnormality may have the remains repatriated to Ireland at the State's expense.

Social services including psychological supports are also being considered by Government, the Sunday Independent has learned.

The Terminations for Medical Reasons (TFMR) group - which is calling for the legalisation of abortion in circumstances of foetal unviability - insists the State must now provide adequate financial and psychological supports for women and their families, including bereavement counselling.

They say parents have been quoted over €1,000 for the transport of cremated remains by courier from the UK.

TFMR met Health Minister Simon Harris on July 6.

The Department of Health has confirmed Mr Harris is now deciding whether the State should cover repatriation costs. He is also considering, within legal limitations, what other services can be put in place, to help women and their families who find themselves in these traumatic circumstances. Gaye Edwards, of the TFMR, says one member was quoted about £895 (€1,070) to have cremated remains couriered from the UK.

Her husband, Gerry Edwards, said many couples who terminate a pregnancy simply do not have additional money to get the remains home.

Sunday Independent

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