Hundreds of Northern Ireland healthcare professionals oppose ‘fatal’ abortion regime

Hundreds of doctors, nurses and midwives have written to the Northern Ireland Secretary to express their strong opposition to the “fatal” abortion regime that is about to be imposed upon the country.

Over 800 healthcare professionals signed an open letter to Julian Smith the Northern Ireland Secretary of State outlining their concern for pregnant mothers and their unborn children, stating that abortion is the “unjust and violent taking of human life.”

They also sought reassurances that as pro-life medics they would be able to conscientiously object from taking any part in providing abortions, without the risk of losing their job.

In July, Westminster voted to impose unregulated abortion throughout the first 28 weeks gestation (7 months) on Northern Ireland if Stormont’s Executive is not restored by 21 October.

This was despite the fact that abortion remains a devolved issue in Northern Ireland and the fact that every MP from the region who sits in Westminster voted against the decision.

Andrew Cupples, a Northern Ireland GP and signatory of the letter, said it could be five months before any potential legislation will be introduced to protect midwives and nurses who choose not to be involved in an abortion.

He told the Belfast Telegraph: “The crux of this issue, if you are in that situation, is do you have the legal protection [and] moral right to say: ‘I am sorry I am not happy with this’?”

He added: “At the moment Northern Ireland has the best and most protected care for women and unborn children. On October 22 it will have the worst in western Europe. The unborn child in the womb will have no legal rights up to 28 weeks.”

“We don’t want this brought in. We haven’t been asked. Stella Creasy who tabled this motion said during the debate that she didn’t want to ask the people in Northern Ireland, but she wanted the opinion of healthcare professionals. The healthcare professionals are giving her our opinion.”

Pro-life group ‘Midwives for Both Lives’ has written to Royal College of Midwives and the Northern Ireland Office to highlight the disparity between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

They said there is “currently no conscientious objection in law in Northern Ireland for midwives” and contrasted this with the rest of the UK where health staff “are protected under law and under the NMC code”.

In other countries with extreme abortion laws, doctors who refuse to perform abortions, have, on occasion, found their careers on the line.

In Victoria, Australia, in 2013, a doctor was disciplined and almost lost his job after he refused to refer a patient for a sex-selective abortion – because the child’s parents’ wanted a son.

In Sweden, a midwife has been repeatedly denied employment because of her pro-life views.

The Royal College of GPs told the BBC “conscientious objection” for staff must be protected and included in any guidelines, adding there were still many unanswered questions which could leave staff vulnerable.

The Royal College of Midwives told the BBC: “No midwife need be involved in the direct provision of termination services if they have a moral or ethical objection”.

Spokesperson for Right to Life, Catherine Robinson said:

“Many healthcare professionals recognise that abortion is not healthcare, and that in their care of a pregnant woman they have two patients: a mother and a child. What sort of society are we creating, if we tell doctors, nurses and midwives that they must be involved in abortions, however strong their objections, or face the end of their career?”

What sort of society are we creating when we allow extreme abortion laws to be imposed up on a country where the majority of women do not want them? 100,000 people are alive today who would otherwise not be, because Northern Ireland chose life over the Abortion Act 1967.”

“We join the calls of these 835 healthcare professionals in their appeal to Northern Ireland’s elected representatives to re-establish a functional government so that democratic process be restored and this extreme abortion regime will be halted”.

Click the button below to email your MLAs/MP/party leaders now asking them to ensure that Stormont is reconvened by October 21.

(Image credit: Adobe Stock: File #127102347)

Pro-life doctors stand firm in Ireland – will not perform abortions in at least 3 hospitals

At least three hospitals in Ireland are not performing any abortions as doctors have conscientiously objected to be involved with the horrific procedure.

A number of doctors in the Republic of Ireland continue to recognise that in treating a pregnant woman they are in fact treating two patients – mother and baby – and refuse to be complicit in ending the lives of unborn children.

According to TheJournal.ie, a briefing document from May 2019 states that “conscientious objection is still a significant challenge in Letterkenny University Hospital”. Sligo University Hospital has also had a large number of doctors conscientiously objecting to perform abortions.

After a referendum in 2018, where Ireland voted to remove all legal protection for its own unborn citizens, doctors found themselves in a position of potentially being forced to perform abortions against their own conscience.

In relation to conscientious objections, the Department of Health said:

“It should be noted that the legislation provides that a medical practitioner, nurse or midwife shall not be obliged to carry out, or to participate in carrying out, a termination of pregnancy where he/she has a conscientious objection.”

However, robust conscientious objection protections are still not in place in Irish law.

The new abortion law requires the conscientious objector to “make such arrangements for the transfer of care of the pregnant woman”, meaning that they must send the woman to a doctor who will perform an abortion. In this way, the state forces doctors to participate in the processes of ending the life of one of their patients. 

Ireland remains the only country in the world to have removed the human rights of an entire segment of its people by popular vote.

Clare McCarthy from Right To Life UK:

“It’s really encouraging that so many doctors in Ireland are refusing to perform abortions. They recognise that their professional duty towards the health of their patients extends to both mother and child.”

“Many doctors enter the profession to save lives, not to end them. In which case, it would be a very serious form of state oppression to fundamentally alter a profession in the manner that abortion does, and then punish doctors who refuse to be involved in it.”

“When the majority of doctors in Ireland began their career, there were strong protections in law for unborn children. It would be deeply unjust to force doctors to perform abortions now that those protections have been removed, because performing abortions was never part of their job description, is not healthcare and goes deeply against their conscience.”