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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”.

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.