LETTER: Death of woman was not related to 8th Amendment

April 22nd, 2018 6:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

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SIR – In her letter (‘Farmers for Choice want 8th removed,’ Southern Star, April 7th) Lorraine Grimes, refers to the tragic death of Michelle Harte, in 2010, and wrongly implies that it was related to the 8th Amendment.

Michelle Harte was in receipt of cancer treatment, at Cork University Hospital (CUH) while pregnant. Unfortunately, she discontinued this treatment so as to participate in clinical trials for a new treatment being tested at that time.

However the pharmaceutical firm stipulated that only those who were not pregnant were eligible to partake. Thus in order to comply with the drug company’s policy – who were possibly fearing a compensation claim should the baby be injured – she went to England, aborted her baby, received the test cancer treatment, but without success, and she died soon afterwards.

This whole sorrowful situation shows just how inhumane financial consideration can be in practice, even in companies working in the health-care industry. This should have been the story. It is a cover-up of this reality, to imply that the CUH ought have aborted the child for no reason other than to satisfy an inhumane company policy and the baby’s mother being taken in by the unrealistic hype surrounding the new drug.

It is noteworthy that subsequently, in testifying before the Oireachtas Committee on Abortion (2013), leading obstetricians,nincluding Dr Sam Coulter Smyth, Dr Mary McCaffrey, and Dr Rhona Mahony, said that there were no instances where Ireland’s laws on abortion had prevented a pregnant woman from receiving all the necessary medical treatment needed to safeguard her life.

It would be a profound tragedy were we to fail to say a resounding ‘No’ to abortion in the upcoming referendum, as the abortion industry simply has no regard for anyone. Let’s take our heads out of the sand, and say it as it is, a baby-killing-business.


Gearóid Duffy,

Lee Road, 


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