Master of the Rotunda Maternity Hospital warns pro-life posters 'factually inaccurate'

Professor Fergal Malone says the posters are causing “extreme distress” among pregnant women

Master of the Rotunda Maternity Hospital warns pro-life posters 'factually inaccurate'

LoveBoth poster in Dublin, 09-04-2018. Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews

Pro-life posters that say a foetus can kick and yawn at nine weeks are factually incorrect, according to the Master of the Rotunda Maternity Hospital.

Speaking to Newstalk's Lunchtime Live, Professor Fergal Malone noted that a “yawn is an inhalation of breath" and as such is impossible for a foetus - which is surrounded by fluid in the womb.

The Professor also noted that the notion of a foetus kicking or having “any such conscious movement” after nine weeks gestation is misleading.

He said the posters are causing “extreme distress” among pregnant women.

The Rotunda Hospital was forced to call the Gardaí after a group of campaigners picketed in front of the hospital with posters featuring graphic imagery.

Professor Malone said the protesters were "holding them up to the faces of people walking through the hospital."

The doctor also took issue with posters claiming that proposed legislation would permit abortions up to six months into a pregnancy.

The legislation the Government hopes to bring in if the Eighth Amendment is repealed would only allow abortion after 12 weeks where there is a grave risk to the health or the life of the woman, or where the foetus is diagnosed with a significant life-limiting abnormality.

The ‘Save the 8th’ campaign has justified the six months poster by claiming that any grave risk to the mental health of the woman will not have to be certified by a psychiatrist.

The group has labelled this “an astonishing black hole in the government’s bill” and claimed that an abortion could be performed on a healthy unborn baby, just weeks before viability.

The published legislation demands that any abortion under health grounds after 12 weeks be certified by two medical practitioners whose skill set is “appropriate to the clinical circumstances” under which an abortion is sought.

You can listen back to Professor Malone's appearance on Lunchtime Live here: