The chairperson of a well-known crisis pregnancy agency has rejected claims that the organisation no longer subscribes to its pro-life founding intentions.
Dr Patrick Davey, Chairperson of Anew (formerly Life Pregnancy Care Ireland) told, told The Irish Catholic it was a matter “of great sadness that there are members of Life/Anew who feel that they have been betrayed by an organisation which in their view has lost its way and no longer subscribes to the ethos and ideas of its founders”, insisting that “this is far from being the case”.
Dr Davey’s was responding to claims by Gearóid Duffy, who has been a member of the organisation in 1991, that the ethos of the agency had “radically” changed in recent years.
Mr Duffy alleged that since the agency began receiving funding from the State in the mid-1990s and following the appointment of a CEO in 2009, the organisation now “goes beyond ambivalence to abortion and being mute concerning the child involved, to giving the impression that any upset experienced can be adequately provided for, by post-abortion counselling”.
Refuting the claims, Dr Davey insisted that any changes to the organisation were made to update outdated language and bring the agency in line with new charities legislation.
These changes, he said, were “painful for all but for some more than others”, insisting, however, that “the principles and purpose of Anew are unchanged from Life”.
“There is no question of being afraid to be called pro-life,” he said, insisting that Anew “does not, never has and never will give abortion referral information”.
“There is absolutely no ambivalence about abortion nor is there any suggestion that abortion followed by post abortion counselling is a wise or simple course of action; that is the message the abortion referral agencies peddle,” he added.
Anew’s Operations Manager Marian Barnard told this newspaper that Anew was “still very much a pro-life organisation”.
“I would say the organisation and our board of directors are all very much of that ethos and anyone that comes to work here is of that ethos. We are not a lobbying organisation, we are not an activist organisation, we don’t engage in any sort of debate on that, but that is our underlying principle, and that is how we remain,” she said.