Protesters will gather at Letterkenny University Hospital later this morning to call for an end to maternity restrictions.
LUH is one of the remaining hospitals in the country that excludes partners from attending pregnancy appointments and the early stages of labour.
The Association for Improvements in Maternity Services Ireland (AIMS Ireland) will be staging a series of small in-person actions today at four hospitals – Letterkenny, The NMH, The Coombe and Our Lady of Lourdes.
The organization has been in contact with the Minister for Health, HSE and individual maternity units and hospital groups since March 2020 seeking that evidence which supports restrictions be published.
AIMS Ireland, campaigning through #WhoseNeedsAreBeingMet on social media, have seen a public outpouring from women and their partners of their experiences.
Senator Eileen Flynn, who will attend the Letterkenny protest states,, “From being told bad news alone, to going through labour without support – there have been so many ways that women and pregnant people have been let down during this pandemic. Without the people who love us the most to hold our hand, facing it can seem like a terrifying, traumatising ordeal. Partners are not visitors and it is important for your partner to be with you. In fact, having a partner of her choice with her for her pregnancy journey is an internationally recognised human right, it’s time Irish hospitals stopped violating women’s human rights in this way.”
AIMS Ireland concludes: “Until every partner, in every maternity unit in Ireland, is able to walk freely into every appointment, scan, NICU, and for the entirety of labour and birth to provide the support and care that women and pregnant people tell us they need, we will continue to put the pressure on.”
Protests will continue throughout this week at The Rotunda, CUMH, St Luke’s Kilkenny, Midlands Regional Hospital Mullingar, Portlaoise, Limerick Maternity Hospital, Wexford General, and Sligo General.