Northern Ireland

Fatal foetal abnormality: PHA meets women to hear experiences

Pregnant woman Image copyright PA
Image caption A fatal foetal abnormality diagnosis means medics believe an unborn child will die either in the womb or shortly after birth

The Public Health Agency is meeting women in Northern Ireland who had a pregnancy where the baby was diagnosed with a fatal foetal abnormality (FFA).

The BBC understands it wants to help other women who are told their baby has a life-limiting condition, including what options may be available.

It is the first time that the Department of Health has publicly addressed FFA in Northern Ireland.

It is understood the information will be contained in a leaflet.

Northern Ireland's chief medical officer, Dr Michael McBride, has asked the director of nursing Mary Hinds to lead the group.

A number of meetings have already taken place where women have described the availability of information including access to a termination and bereavement counselling.

This is a significant, albeit quiet, move on the part of the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care service to tackle an issue which has become controversial in Northern Ireland.

A fatal foetal abnormality diagnosis means medics believe an unborn child will die either in the womb or shortly after birth.

It is not grounds for a legal abortion in Northern Ireland.

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