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Two thirds of Irish GPs can't or won't perform abortions

9 November 2018

 
​640 general practitioners have signed a petition raising concerns over the government’s plan to press ahead with a GP-led abortion service in Ireland.

The Government's refusal to listen to concerns is causing major discontent 

A majority of Irish GPs are not willing, for either moral or practical reasons, to perform abortions when the new law comes into force, new polling has revealed.

In an online survey with over 3,500 members of the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) 43% responded to say that they weren’t prepared to participate in abortion "due to concerns regarding capacity, resources or conscientious objection, but are willing to refer to another colleague".

Most significantly, 25% said they would not provide abortion and would prefer not to refer a woman to another doctor.

32% said they will provide "termination-of-pregnancy services".

Major concerns

The Government's insistence that GPs who conscientiously object to abortion will be forced to refer to another doctor, as well as concerns about the implementation of the abortion regime, has led to major discontent among doctors. Some 640 general practitioners have signed a petition raising concerns over the government’s plan to press ahead with a GP-led abortion service in Ireland.

The petition has forced the ICGP to hold an Emergency General Meeting to discuss the issue, although the organisers have called the decision to hold it in four weeks time (after the abortion bill has gone through the amendment stage) as "wholly unacceptable". 

No compromise

The Government's refusal to listen to doctors' concerns around training, funding, retention within the GP service and conscientious objection have led some to "lose faith" in Health Minister Simon Harris. 

Mr Harris showed his determination to pass his extreme legislation at any cost when he rejected all amendments by pro-life TDs, and described the attempt to ensure that aborted babies are disposed of with dignity as "grotesque" and "extraordinarily distasteful". 

The health minister's refusal to listen to the concerns of the GPs he expects to carry out abortions, or to make any concessions in the legislation, shows how much he is driven by an extreme abortion ideology, rather than any concern for women's health.

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