We were saddened (though hardly surprised) to read an Irish Times report that the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) have called for further liberalisation of the country’s abortion laws in its submission to the Review of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018. In their submission the IHREC called for the abolition of the mandatory three-day waiting period for women seeking an abortion, and for abortion to be legally available in all situations where there is a ‘fatal foetal anomaly’ diagnosis. One of the many problems with a proposal like the latter is the ambiguity of the term ‘fatal foetal abnormality’. The fact is that in many cases – contrary to what many pro-choice advocates would have you believe – the foetal anomaly proves not to be fatal at all – hence why women who choose to continue with such pregnancies often use the term ‘life-limiting condition’. (You might be interested to read our post on the subject.)

In more positive news, we are glad to draw your attention to a campaign north of the border, to set up a perinatal mental health unit in Northern Ireland. This campaign is supported by the Maternal Advocacy and Support (MAS) project, which works to support the mental health of new mothers. According to Professor Siobhán O’Neill:

There’s clear evidence that intervening at this stage, in those early weeks and months, can make a real difference to women’s lives, to babies’ lives, and it can reduce the cost of mental-health services that they’ll need later on

MAS is also requesting that healthcare workers be better trained in dealing with post-partum psychosis, a serious illness that effects about 35 women in the North every year.

(Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay)

In other positive news, thejournal.ie reports that from next January, pregnant women who suffer from severe vomiting – Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) – will be able to access the drug Cariban for free with a prescription from their obstetrician. No doubt this news will be welcomed by many, but some have pointed out the shortcomings of the initiative. One reader of thejournal.ie’s report commented that ‘Most women won’t see an obstetrician until 12 to 14 weeks into a pregnancy, HG can start as early as week 6. […] I had HG and was hospitalised twice before I got to ten weeks.’

(Image by Mariana Anatoneag from Pixabay)

Finally, former British MP Rory Stewart has made a video with the BBC earlier this year entitled ‘How to have a really good argument’. We talk a lot here about arguments and how to argue better, and we think this video is worth watching. Check it out here.