The automated pro-life phone messages targeting Irish numbers, in the aftermath of Savita Halappanavar’s death in Galway in 2012, came from the United States.
Ireland’s Communications and data privacy regulators have said that Irish authorities can take no action against those who implemented these automated calls cannot be prosecuted as they are permitted under the United State’s law.
Ireland Data Protection Commissioner has told those Irish residents who complained about the pro-life phone messages that they have liaised “with the appropriate law enforcement authorities in Washington on this matter” and had “presented them with details of the campaign and the levels of complaints received”.
They continued “We have now been informed that the US law enforcement authorities are unable to assist our investigations. They have explained that the phone call campaign in question does not contravene US law and, for that reason, they have no basis on which to initiate investigations in the US in relation to the perpetrators of the campaign.
Regrettably, therefore, we are unable to pursue the matter any further.”
The phone message used direct quoted from Professor Eamon O’Dwyer, a veteran obstetrician from Galway. He has no connection to the making of the messages.
The message states that Irish doctors are obliged to intervene to save the life of an expectant mother even when doing so would lead to the death of a child.
It says “Ireland’s ban on abortion does not prevent doctors from acting to save women’s life.
“Claims that doctors cannot intervene to safe mothers in dangers are untrue.”
The message makes reference to Savita Halappanavar’s death at Galway hospital in October 2012. Savita was denied an abortion and died of blood poisoning after the death of her child. Her tragic case reignited an ongoing battle to have abortion legislation in Ireland clarified.
The pro-life phone calls appeared on caller ID systems as if they originated in Dublin. The messages came to like then Irish residents emailed the authorities. The Data Protection Commissioner received about 500 complaints.
Here’s the audio of the message: