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Irish abortion review recommends doctors be immune from prosecution for abortion up to birth

A review into the abortion law in Ireland, undertaken by academics, many of whom have a history of abortion campaigning, has recommended that doctors be able to perform abortions up to birth without the threat of prosecution and that the three-day waiting period before an abortion be removed.

A report on the three-year review of abortion in Ireland has been released. Abortion law in Ireland made this review mandatory as part of Legislation in 2019.

Doctors should be immune from prosecution for performing abortions up to birth

The highly controversial review has recommended that physicians who perform abortions be immune from prosecution if they perform an abortion at any stage of pregnancy. This effectively makes abortion legal up until the point of birth within a setting approved by the legislation.

The review has also recommended the scrapping of the three-day waiting period before an abortion can happen despite the fact that thousands of women had their babies instead of an abortion after the three-day waiting period.

The Pro-Life Campaign in Ireland has been highly critical of the report, which failed to use official government figures that show that between 2019 and 2021, of those who had an initial abortion consultation, 3,951 women did not return for a second consultation.

Instead, the review refers to a small study by a pro-abortion doctors’ group in Ireland, START.

Commenting on this discrepancy, Pro Life Campaign spokesperson Eilís Mulroy said “This major flaw in the report undermines the credibility of its recommendation to remove the three-day waiting period and further casts a shadow over the entire report’s trustworthiness.”

End funding for hospitals that don’t perform abortions

In addition, the review also recommends imposing an obligation on medical professionals to refrain from providing “misinformation” to women accessing abortion.

Mulroy has criticised this recommendation asking “Who’ll adjudicate on what constitutes misleading information? Will informing women about peer-reviewed medical research documenting the adverse effects of abortion on women be deemed misinformation?”

The review also recommends that funding be removed from hospitals that do not perform abortions in an effort to force them to do so.

Mulroy continued “In addition to the unrelenting pro-abortion recommendations in the report, there’s also the gaping omissions. There is not a single mention in the recommendations about promoting positive alternatives to abortion.”

“The recommendations, if given effect, would represent a total departure from the basis on which people voted in the 2018 referendum. It would also inevitably lead to more abortions taking place every year”, she said.

“The Government should focus on looking for ways to reduce Ireland’s soaring abortion rate rather than looking at scrapping the three-day reflection period before an abortion happens or considering fully decriminalising abortion effectively permitting it up to nine months.”

“There were 8,500 abortions in Ireland in 2022 meaning one baby is being aborted for every seven babies being born. This massive loss of life since the new law has taken effect is a national tragedy. The Pro Life Campaign will do everything in its power to prevent a truly awful situation from becoming considerably worse.”

Right To Life UK spokesperson said “The recommendation to remove the three-day waiting period based on no discernible reason is a disgrace, especially since the evidence indicates that it has saved lives. Additionally, it seems to suggest that all voices of dissent must be silenced.”

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.