Brid Smith demands the prosecution of Anti-Choice bigots

Repeal the 8th PBP stallPeople Before Profit have condemned the actions of the counselling service which provided an undercover journalist for the The Times (Ireland Edition) false information and blatant lies during a counselling session this week.

The reporter secretly recorded her counselling session in which she was told that having an abortion would increase her risk of getting breast cancer, and of abusing children.

The claims made by the counselling service are “preposterous”, according to expert medical opinion. The journalist was also told, wrongly, that at 7 weeks pregnant she was too late for the abortion pill, was shown pictures of dead foetus and asked if she thought abortion was ‘fair to the baby’.

People Before Profit spokesperson Bríd Smith TD called the advice given by the counselling service “shocking and blatant lies designed to frighten women into opting out of an abortion”.

Deputy Smith continued: “Imagine, if instead of very capable journalist, this was a vulnerable woman; the experience could cause untold distress and anxiety, with potentially far-reaching and very harmful consequences.

“The State has been funding crisis pregnancy counselling for years – through the Crisis Pregnancy Programme (CPP – formerly the Crisis Pregnancy Agency), and the CPP require certain standards to be met. But this falls far short of State regulation. And what of these ‘rogue’ operators – not on the lists of CPP-recommended services, like the one investigated by the journalist? The State is aware of these operators but has done nothing to stop them terrorising vulnerable women. Is this because these so called ‘counselling services’ have links with right-wing religious groups that they don’t want to upset?

“The anti-choice groups in Ireland and internationally present themselves as being “concerned” for women’s welfare. This case shows the hypocrisy of these bigots. Repealing the 8th amendment will sicken them. Meantime, the least the government can do is close them down and prosecute them for abusive and threatening behaviour to women.”

Brid Smith T.D will be hosting a public meeting on Repealing the 8th Amendment on the 13th September in the Central Hotel at 8pm.