Commenting on a new report showing that 33% of women with very young children viewed their pregnancies as crisis pregnancies, spokesperson Sinéad Ahern described it as a “sad finding” which demonstrates the need for increased supports for women before, during and after pregnancy.
“The sad finding of the HSE/Equality Authority study shows that women in Ireland are not receiving the supports they need to prevent crisis pregnancy, or to prevent a wanted pregnancy turning into a crisis. This may lead some women to opt for termination which could have been avoided if those supports were in place. Others may find themselves struggling to cope with the demands placed on them by not only the pregnancy itself, but by a society which fails to ensure that their needs can be met at this sensitive time.
“The research was carried out on women who continued their pregnancies to term and does not include those who opted for abortion. If those numbers are factored in it is clear that the rate of crisis pregnancy in this country is considerably higher than 33%.
“While Choice Ireland supports the right of women to make their own reproductive decisions, we recognise the need to ensure those decisions are made in a context of genuine options. A pregnancy should never have to be a crisis simply because of a woman’s economic, social or employment circumstances.”
She concluded by renewing Choice Ireland’s call for legislation to regulate rogue crisis pregnancy counselling agencies, stating: “The high rate of crisis pregnancy in this country underscores the urgent need to ensure that women are not placed at further risk by inadvertently turning to rogue agencies for counselling. Choice Ireland has recently written to members of the Oireachtas Health Committee asking them to put regulation of these agencies on the agenda. The need to protect women from these manipulators masquerading as counsellors is greater than ever.” ENDS