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Saturday 25 November 2017

Public hit by fresh spate of abortion 'robo-calls'

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

THE communications regulator is investigating a new round of automated anti-abortion phone calls which have been reported by householders around the country.

Comreg yesterday received four new complaints about the calls, which include a recorded message making a series of claims about abortion.

The 'robo-calls' began last month in the aftermath of the death of Indian mother-to-be Savita Halappanavar.

Her death, in circumstances in which her husband says she repeatedly asked for an abortion prior to her death, has led to much public debate about Ireland's legal stance on abortion.

Last month, the Data Protection Commissioner shut down a Dublin phoneline making automated calls after it received more than 30 complaints about the number.

The calls reportedly claimed to quote medical experts and said that Irish doctors did not put the life of a mother at risk even if it meant the death of an unborn child.

Last night, a spokesman for Comreg said that the agency had received four complaints yesterday "in respect to unsolicited calls received to their fixed line".

Householders were advised that they could contact Comreg on consumerline@comreg.ie to report the details of such calls.

Meanwhile, council workers have taken down graphic anti-abortion posters in the constituency of Justice Minister Alan Shatter, which had targeted him personally.

Obscene

Mr Shatter described the posters, which were put up in the Ballinteer area of south Co Dublin, as "obscene and insensitive" and said those responsible were "too cowardly to include their identity".

Anti-abortion groups Youth Defence and the Life Institute said they had no knowledge of the posters.

Irish Independent

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