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THREAD on #CBLive and #8Ref debate claims - research by @TJ_FactCheck and @TheJournal_ie
We’re going to run through as much in the order as they came up last night as possible:
MEDICAL PROFESSION AND 8REF: Iona Institute’s Maria Steen and Dr Peter Boylan differed on where medical professionals stand - Steen said the “medical profession is divided down the middle”; Boylan said more than 80% of Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists favour repeal..
Only one traditional representative body for medical professionals has articulated a position on support or retain - that is the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists where it said in January that it supports removal of the Eighth Amendment..
With regards to the 80% figure cited by Boylan, a spokesperson for the Institute told us today that they surveyed their members and 81% were in favour of repeal. We are waiting for a breakdown of this survey so can't yet say if every single member replied to the survey..
The NAGP is taking a neutral stance, the IMO, IHCA (hospital consultants) and INMO have not taken an official position on #8Ref. We will be posting a piece on @thejournal_ie shortly outlining the campaign groups comprising medical professionals, their make-up and numbers..
On the statement by Doctors for Yes rep Mark Murphy that 1,300 doctors openly support repeal - this is true - but this is not an “overwhelming majority”..
- there are 2,500 GPs in the country (HSE figure, not the 18,000 GP figure one Twitter user circulated last night and later deleted) and 21,795 doctors of any kind registered with the Medical Council (end-2016).
97% ‘HEALTHY’ CLAIM: Mary Butler TD made a contentious claim: that 97% of all abortions in the UK were of healthy babies carried by healthy mothers. This is false. 180,794 out of 186,596 (97.4%) of abortions in England and Wales took place on Ground C. What is Ground C?..
Ground C for abortion in the UK is when “the pregnancy has not exceeded its twenty-fourth week and that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman”..
The full report on those statistics on abortions in England and Wales are here if you want to delve further: - page 15 is of particular interest on medical diagnoses under Ground C.
UP TO 24 WEEKS IN IRELAND: We add a caution to any claim that links directly statistics from another jurisdiction and projections for statistics here. A clear explainer on what the draft legislation is suggesting might happen up to the 24th week in Ire :
SAVITA AND MATERNAL DEATHS: Mattie McGrath TD wants Savita Halappanavar's name excluded from debate and said three different “autopsies” or “reports” had excluded the Eighth as a factor in her death. This is false - see our analysis of those reports:
The case of Michelle Harte, who was given substantial compensation by the State a few months before her death from cancer in late 2011, is explored in this piece about what the Eighth has meant for women who need medical treatment: ..
On maternal mortality rates, a lawyer in the audience supporting a ‘No’ vote said Ireland has one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world. Most recent WHO figures would indicate this to be true. ..
As is Dr John Monaghan’s claim that Ireland has a lower maternal mortality rate than the UK. (Slightly - Ireland: 8 deaths per 100,000 live births; UK - 9 deaths per 100,000 live births).
THE FOETUS AT 12 WEEKS: Is it “fully formed” at 12 weeks - No, said Dr Peter Boylan; Yes, said Dr John Monaghan. It obviously depends on your definition of “fully formed” - by 12 weeks, the limbs and major organs are in place - but week 24 generally marks 'viability'..
This is definitely one that you must read for yourself - We have a factual timeline of progression in the womb for you here: ..
At this point, it’s also worth elaborating on this:
UK ABORTIONS AT 12 WEEKS: Mary Butler TD again referred to UK statistics to support her arguments (and again, this comes with a health warning) - she said that in the UK 84% of abortions at 12 weeks are surgical..
This is true but potentially misleading as 84% of abortions at EXACTLY 12 weeks are surgical but of all abortions that happen up to and including 12 weeks, 65% are medical, not surgical.
THE ‘HARD CASES’: There was so much emotive debate last night about the ‘hard cases’ that we want to present to you this piece - part of our Q&A series - which attempts to answer a number of our readers’ questions on this very topic:
Additional reading: The available stats on women and girls travelling outside of Ireland to the UK for abortion
Additional reading: Will abortions be publicly-funded here should the Eighth Amendment be repealed?
Additional reading: Judicial interference? Let's find out:
Additional reading: The '1 in 5' statistic:
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