HSE admits link between ‘telemedicine’ and coercive abortion

The HSE has admitted that women granted medical abortions after a phone consultation may be subject to coercion.

The Govt health agency was responding to a parliamentary question from Carol Nolan TD.

While claiming that remote consultation telemedicine abortion has been a success, the reply also concedes that “meeting the woman in person increases the likelihood of the provider identifying any coercion or domestic abuse”. And in another significant admission, the HSE states that “in-person consultations allow provision of personalised care and allow potential problems to be identified and mitigated.”

Earlier in the week, in a separate reply to Deputy Nolan, the Minister for Health himself completely dodged answering a question about the likelihood that government backed telemedicine ‘home abortions’ are putting women at greater risk of being coerced into having abortions.

A spokesperson for the Pro-Life Campaign called the HSE’s admission “an astonishing development” but one that tracks with what is generally known by both research and anecdotal evidence.

“Peer reviewed research has shown that up to a quarter of all abortions taking place likely involve some form of coercion from the woman’s partner or someone else close to her. Only last week, a man in Worcester, England was charged with a violent physical assault on his 27-year-old girlfriend after she refused to have an abortion”.

Meanwhile, Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín told the Dáil yesterday that the State Claims Agency has received 103 notifications of ‘adverse incidents’ arising from terminations carried out under the new abortion law. It remains to be seen what the precise nature and seriousness of these incidents amount to.