The Vigil will also hear that the abortion agency, the IFPA, has serious questions to answer in relation to its treatment of the woman at the centre of the case.
Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute said that the Vigil of Hope was called because so many people wanted to send a message of hope to the baby, and one of compassion to his mother who had been failed by the new abortion law. She said that the plight of the baby, who now faces an enormous struggle and the possibility of brain damage and blindness, was being largely ignored by media coverage of the abortion controversy.
“Usually when we hear about a tiny premie fighting for life, everyone is rooting for that baby, but in this case, we are hearing abortion supporters insisting that the baby should be dead: that he should have been aborted,” said Ms Uí Bhriain.
“This is a tremendously callous and cold-hearted position, and does not reflect what the majority of people feel. The Vigil of Hope will gather ‘Get Well’ messages to send to this baby boy over the weekend, and to let him know he is not alone,” she said.
Dr. Eoghan de Faoite, one of the vigil organisers, was highly critical of the way this woman and her unborn child were treated from the beginning and questioned the involvement of the IFPA in her care. He said that this case was mismanaged from the start and ended up forcing doctors into an impossible situation.
“This case broke every rule of medicine. Firstly, the IFPA failed to adequately address this woman’s mental health status when she twice expressed suicidal ideation to them; secondly, abortion was prescribed as a treatment for her suicidality, when every doctor knows there is no evidence for this; and thirdly, an obstetrician was obliged to forcibly deliver a healthy baby at 25 weeks, where no medical basis existed. This is the anti-thesis of obstetrical care”.
Dr De Faoite continued; “Vulnerable women expressing suicidal thoughts need to be given the correct treatment of support, psychotherapy and medication where needed. This is how suicidality is treated. However Fine Gael’s legislation forces doctors to abandon evidence-based medicine and perform abortions on request, throughout all nine months of pregnancy.”
He concluded: “This Vigil of Hope seeks to send a strong message that we care for both patients in this scenario, mother and baby, and they both have been utterly failed by Enda Kenny’s abortion act,” he said.