News & Media

Minister Harris must make good on rogue crisis pregnancy regulation promise

18 February 2019

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland

Labour Party Leader, Brendan Howlin TD, has called on the Government to regulate rogue crisis pregnancy agencies.

Deputy Howlin said:

“Through reports in today’s Times Ireland, we have learned that American anti-abortion groups plan to target Irish abortion providers and try to offer alternative advice to women who may be seeking terminations through rogue crisis pregnancy agencies based here in Ireland.

“What has been reported today is extremely worrying, in particular the targeting of women who are particularly vulnerable. It’s not enough to have legislation to provide exclusion zones outside of health centres, which my colleague Ivana Bacik has called for, we need to see rogue crisis pregnancy agencies regulated.

“In November 2016, the Labour Party legislation to regulate these agencies passed in the Dáil, following this in March 2017 Minister Harris said that this could be dealt with through statutory instrument. Two years on this has not materialised. 

“These agencies lie to women in the most grotesque way at a time of exceptional vulnerability.

 “Irish people voted for care and compassion for women in crisis situations, not for women to be targeted outside healthcare providers or to be lied to when they are at their most vulnerable.

“While exclusion zone legislation is badly needed, the Minister for Health could easily sign a statutory instrument that has been over two years in the making to finally regulate rogue crisis pregnancy agencies.”