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  • Writer's pictureLesley Hynes

Unplanned Pregnancy

Last week a group of third level students released the findings of research they conducted into the operation of the HSE's MyOptions helpline regarding the advice given to women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. The findings of the research are truly horrifying, including evidence of various MyOptions counsellors urging women to make their first abortion appointment even in cases where the women make it clear that they are still very conflicted about whether to proceed with the abortion or not. It is obvious from the research that MyOptions is effectively all about abortion and is not equipped in any way to talk to women who may wish to explore other options, including keeping their baby. I've read the HSE's deflection statement from earlier in the week. I await with interest their statement on the recent evidence that has come to light about their own MyOptions hotline and what they propose doing about it. The public is owed such a statement from the HSE and I hope it is issued very soon. Women and their unborn babies deserve better. On the 31st January 1984, one of my childhood friends Ann Lovett died with her baby son at a grotto in Granard. She had moved to Granard after her 1st year in St Clare’s Convent. Our class was told of the death, two were chosen to go to the funeral and the rest of us were just left to grieve our own way. I’m told I was one of the girls that mitched out of school to hitch a lift to her funeral. This I have no memory of. My thoughts last week after the horror that took place in Tullamore, were also with the tragic death of Ann in Granard. The country shared the pain with the Murphy family. The national solidarity I’m sure gave comfort to the family, friends and colleagues of Aishling in Tullamore. I contrast that with Granard in 1984 and the village of Granard, 38 years later is still healing from that tragic loss. I often wonder if Ann had options, I’m sure she could have aborted her baby, but she didn’t. Today we are in such a great place for young girls who find themselves pregnant unexpectedly. There’s teen parent support groups & Gianna Care available to help and support young girls who find themselves pregnant. These options must be given to young girls seeking support from the HSE through the MYOPTIONS helpline. I’m hoping that HSE if listening into this today, will come out strongly stating the services that they are providing gives options to those seeking it. If not maybe they should rename this site as MyOption and not MyOptions.

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