September 28, 2023

Tense scenes as anti-abortion protesters target county Kilkenny health clinic

THERE were tense scenes as anti-abortion protesters gathered outside a county Kilkenny health clinic which has signed up to provide termination services.

The Health Centre in Graiguenamanagh is currently the only facility providing abortion services in Kilkenny and Carlow.

The protest began at around 11am yesterday outside the clinic and the nearby Cistercian church.

Local gardai monitored what was described as a “tense situation” as the group of around 15 protesters made their voices known.

According to reports, the respected and long-established clinic, which has two GPs, received a number of calls last Friday from those opposed to the provision of abortion medications which caused upset to staff.

Gardai are also investigating the phone calls made to the clinic. It is believed that ongoing issues in setting up the service in St Luke’s General Hospital in Kilkenny are delaying the implementation of abortion services to the in Kilkenny, Carlow, Tipperary and Laois.

The picket is the third known protest since termination services became legal in the State. The first occurred just three days after New Year’s Day in Galway and another took place earlier last week in Drogheda, Co Louth.

Of the 3,500 GPs in the country, just over 200 have signed up to provide the services. A third of GPs in Ireland are women. GPs receive €300 to provide the service per appointment from the HSE, while they receive €120 to see a pregnant woman right up to six weeks after giving birth.

The protests have sparked renewed calls for the introduction of exclusion zones to prevent women seeking terminations from facing protests when accessing services.

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, has promised to introduce legislation for such zones.


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