Health Minister saddened and frustrated by plight of Irish couples travelling for abortion

Simon Harris says he would “like to see change” adding that he wants his generation to “have a say” on abortion issue

Health Minister saddened and frustrated by plight of Irish couples travelling for abortion

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The Minister for Health has said it “greatly saddens and frustrates” him that women can’t access abortion in the case of fatal foetal abnormality.

An Irish couple is live-tweeting their journey to Liverpool to terminate a pregnancy today, after doctors at their first pre-natal appointment discovered a condition that will leave their unborn child unable to survive outside of the womb.

The couple have another child who was born with a serious genetic condition that requires constant monitoring throughout the day.

The boy's condition can cause his brain to shut down and slip into a coma.

In a Twitter-post earlier this week, the husband in the relationship said they have been “forced to travel to the UK - leaving our child behind and the risks that involves - to do the most humane thing possible to a baby that will never survive.”

“It is a crushing sentence for any person to hear, let alone for my wife who has had to give up her career to become a full time carer for our little boy,” he said.

He said the procedure could have been carried out “20 minutes from home in a risk free environment,” were it not for Ireland’s abortion legislation.

Health Minister, Simon Harris said he would “like to see change” adding that he wants his generation to “have a say” on the issue:

The Irish couple are hoping that by live-tweeting their ordeal, they can “enlighten those who do not want to listen or even allow the people of this country to decide for themselves.”

"Our government has continually kicked the can down the road and we, the people, must decide if we can allow this to happen," they said in the statement.

"We hope that be documenting our experience it may help those that may have been through something similar or may be unfortunate enough to do so in the future."

The 8th Amendment is being debated at the Citizens’ Assembly; set up by government to examine issues affecting the Irish constitution.

Minister Harris once again backed the government position that no decision will be taken on the issue until the Assembly reports back in June next year.