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15th Jun 2018

‘Vulgar’ anti-abortion images at maternity hospitals could be met with exclusion zones

Jade Hayden

Restrictions are being considered to protect people from graphic anti-abortion images at Irish maternity hospitals.

Minister for Health Simon Harris has said that it is a “great concern” that women availing of maternity services are being forced to look at these images.

This comes after Dublin’s Rotunda hospital tweeted a warning that an anti-abortion group were at the building’s front entrance “displaying posters that may be distressing.”

Harris has suggested that exclusion zones at maternity hospitals should be considered to combat the issue.

He told the Dáil:

“I’m determined to do something about this in terms of exclusion zones.

“Women need to use our maternity services and they need to be able to use them in a way that is not in any way impeded by people carrying out protests.”

The minister also lamented that the Rotunda had to issue a warning to anyone entering or leaving the hospital.

He said:

“The idea that a maternity hospital would have to take to Twitter to issue guidance to women attending our maternity hospitals to make them aware of the fact that there were people protesting with vulgar images should be a cause of great concern for any decent person in this country regardless of their view on the eighth amendment.”

Ireland’s referendum to repeal the eighth amendment was passed on May 26 by a landslide victory for the ‘Yes’ vote.

It will most likely be autumn before any abortion legislation comes before the Dáil.