Thursday 15 November 2018

Abortion row threat to CURA cash

Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

STATE funding of up to €700,000 for the Catholic pregnancy counselling agency CURA is under renewed threat as the long-running row over abortion information comes to a head.

The Crisis Pregnancy Agency , which funds pregnancy counselling agencies, confirmed yesterday it has issued a new contract in the last week to all service providers, including CURA and Life.

Chief Executive Caroline Spillane said the contract had standard terms for all pregnancy counselling agencies and no exemptions are granted.

For the past two years CURA was breaching its previous contract by refusing to give out leaflets to women which would give them the names and addresses of other agencies which would give them information on abortion clinics abroad.

The Crisis Pregnancy Agency did not impose a financial sanction on CURA but that contract ran out at the end of June.

The row is now threatening to boil over following the issuing of a new contract on July 1 which CURA has not yet signed.

Health Minister Mary Harney launched the Crisis Pregnancy Agency's annual report yesterday, where the agency's chairwoman Katherine Bulbulia said they were in ongoing discussions with CURA. It was up to them, she said, to look at terms and conditions to see if they could abide by them.

A spokesman for CURA said they were hopeful of a resolution shortly.

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