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Ireland: Only 1 in 10 GPs are providing abortions

Newly released data has revealed that only 12% of GPs in the Republic of Ireland are providing abortions.

While abortion can be legally performed in a GP surgery in Ireland up until the ninth week of pregnancy, only 405 out of 3,500 GPs actually provide abortions.

The Freedom of Information request released by Newstalk also found that only 10 out of 19 maternity units in Ireland carry out abortions.

According to Newstalk, the Health Service Executive (HSE) in Ireland “is working to increase the availability of abortion services in hospitals”.

Abortion activist Orla O’Connor said: “We believe in the National Women’s Council that all 19 should be offering a full suite of reproductive healthcare services…”

In 2019 however, Dr Trevor Hayes at St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny said that they had decided unanimously not to perform abortions at the hospital. He warned that trying to force doctors to perform abortions against their will would force them out of the profession entirely.

“If this means that doctors and nurses and other medical professionals are being forced out of medicine, this will only add to the staffing crisis already crippling the health service”, said Dr Hayes.

Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “That the vast majority of GPs do not provide abortions is a strong indication that Irish GPs continue to recognise that in every interaction with a pregnant woman, they have two patients: the mother and her child. Abortion does not treat either patient. It harms one and ends the life of the other”.

“It is important that these GPs and hospitals that do not provide abortion hold firm. The law does not require them to perform abortions and if it did, many would rightly leave the profession”.

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