A number of people have complained after receiving unsolicited calls regarding abortion in Ireland tonight. The calls, which were first mentioned on Twitter earlier this evening, claim to quote Eamon O’Dwyer, professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynaecology at NUI Galway. The call goes on to say that Irish doctors do not put mothers’ lives at risk and mentions the “tragic loss of a young woman in Galway”, alluding to the case of Savita Halappanavar.
It says that Ireland’s abortion ban does not stop doctors from saving women’s lives and that Ireland is one of the safest places in the world to have a baby. When the number 01-4402522 is called, it also asks the person receiving the message to leave a message on “whether we should continue to protect mother and child under our current pro-life laws, or legislate for abortion based under the British model or any thoughts you have if you are unsure”. People who received the phone calls claim they were asked to press numbers to vote on different subjects.
Super weird autophone call re:abortion & #savita – ends with asking me to press 1 if I want to keep current laws, 1/2
— Claire (@Rosiemonstre) November 21, 2012
Just got an automated phone call about abortion. Not impressed at all. Mentions the Galway case and Dr Eamon O Dwyer
— reg gordon (@reggordon) November 21, 2012
Just got a robo-call from anti abortion crowd. Press 1 if anti abortion. Press 2 if want more info. Press 3 if want UK style abortion ++
— Lorcan Roche Kelly (@LorcanRK) November 21, 2012
The call does not identify the group responsible for it.
In a blog post on the McGarr Solicitors site explaining how to complain about automatic phone calls, they say the following:
As the calls reported on today seem not to fall within the political communication exception- not coming from any recognised political party, candidate or candidate for election- each call complained of could potentially attract an individual criminal conviction and fine. Only calls which prompt a complaint can attract any conviction.
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