Unsolicited automated calls being made about abortion

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.

The call does not identify the group responsible for it.

One user of Twitter advised those who received calls ” should notify the DPC. Use of autodiallers is governed under SI336.” The Data Protection Commissioner’s website can be found here.

The calls come after an estimated two thousand people protested outside of The Dáil tonight calling for legislation on abortion in Ireland following the case of Savita Halappanavar.

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.
McGarr Solicitors

You can contact the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner in the following ways:

By phone: Lo Call 1890 252 231 (Monday to Thursay 9.15 am to to 5.30pm & Friday 9.15am to 5.15pm)
By fax:    057 86 84757
By email:  info@dataprotection.ie
By post:    Office of the Data Protection Commissioner
Canal House
Station Road
Portarlington
Co Laois

About The Author

Neil Markey

Founder of Krank.ie. News and current events nerd who likes cute animals and fighting with politicians on the internet. QRG has called me a “maverick Irish blogger” but I’m mostly just being an opinionated jerk. You can find me mouthing off on the Twitter-machine @Nerin_

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