A number of women who have used abortion pills are presenting to hospitals with complications such as bleeding, infection, continuing pregnancy and parts of the foetus being left behind in the woman.
That’s according to a study by St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny, that was just presented at the conference of the Irish Congress of Obstetricians, Gynaecology and Perinatal Medicine.
Under the 2018 Abortion Act, women can have a ‘medical’ abortion, as opposed to a surgical abortion, by taking an abortion pill to force a miscarriage, either from a GP up to nine weeks of pregnancy, or at a maternity hospital up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.
A separate study showed the new law has led to an increase in abortions by women whose unborn child has been diagnosed with a life-limiting condition. The study looked at a sample of mothers with the diagnosis in the first nine months of 2018 with the same length of time in 2019.
In 2018, between January and September there were 67 significant foetal abnormalities diagnosed and six of these were so-called fatal foetal abnormalities.
“There were three terminations of pregnancy for fatal foetal abnormalities, indicating a 50pc rate,” the study by an obstetrician and nurses in Galway University Hospital showed. So far in 2019 there were seven terminations after the same diagnosis – the definite number of cases was still under calculation.
The study concluded the change of the law in 2019 with the implementation of the Act had led to an increase in the number of women affected by this diagnosis who terminate their pregnancies. “This will have service implications for units providing the service,” the conference was told.