A Catholic priest talks about the women who carry out back street abortions in Dublin and why those finding themselves pregnant turn to them.

Father Alan Kiely of the Rotunda Girls Aid Society tells RTÉ News about criminal abortions taking place in Dublin. Not a lot is known about the women who carry out these operations. Calling themselves 'godmothers' and despite not having any medical background, these women make themselves available to women and girls who have a crisis pregnancy. 

Why do women go to such lengths to seek them out?  Father Alan Kiely believes,

There’s a great air of fear in finding oneself pregnant.  There’s the desperation...I’m not just talking about single girls, I’m talking about people who have an unwanted pregnancy.  There’s a frightful fear of parents, of society, of people knowing, of being judged.

Father Kiely’s work includes counselling woman who have had abortions, but readily admits that the women he meets require more professional help than he is able to provide, 

They’re left with great difficulties...that really need more professional care than I’m able to give them.  But people, because of their fears, even find it very hard to turn to the real professionals who can help them work through the great difficulties involved, the psychological difficulties.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 15 February 1978.