Save the 8th has issued the following statement commenting on the story of a Wexford woman, Claire Malone, whose story will be featured by Amnesty Ireland during the launch of its Soros-Funded YES campaign today:
“This story is a perfect example of how the 8th amendment, and the brilliance of Irish doctors, save lives. Today, a healthy baby is six weeks old because of the 8th amendment.
In the UK, patients like Ms Malone are routinely offered abortions. In Ireland, our doctors work hard to save both patients, and nearly always succeed.
The YES campaign regards it as a failure of Irish medicine that both Ms Malone, and her baby, are alive today. Save the 8th regards it as a success of Irish medicine that her condition was successfully managed, and that she and her child are safe today. That is one of the fundamental and most basic differences between our two campaigns.
It is clear from Kitty Holland’s report that Ms Malone disagreed with her doctors about the viability of her pregnancy. In the UK, there is no doubt that she would have received an abortion on demand. In Ireland, doctors worked with her to ensure that her baby could be born safely.
In the event that Ms Malone’s life had been threatened by the pregnancy, Irish doctors had the power to bring that pregnancy to an end. In this case, this was thankfully not necessary.
It is worth pointing out that under the medical council guidelines currently operating, the risk to a woman need not be immediate: Section 48.3 reads
48.3 Abortion is legally permissible where there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the woman which cannot be prevented by other means. 24 This risk, while substantial, may not be immediate or inevitable in all cases. This risk should be assessed in light of current evidence-based best practice.
Irish Doctors are very clearly empowered to intervene in a pregnancy where there is a risk to a woman.
To quote Dr. Michael O’Hare, Head of the HSE working group on maternal mortality:
“The conclusion is obvious – there is no evidence whatever of a higher risk of maternal mortality or severe morbidity in Ireland as a result of the Eighth Amendment.”
Save the 8th is very glad that Irish doctors and Irish nurses were able to treat Ms Malone, and that she and her baby are alive today. Without the 8th amendment, this would clearly, according to Ms Malone, not be the case. That is reason alone to keep it.