100 medics: ‘ROI must not fail mothers by scrapping abortion safeguards’

More than a hundred medics have urged the Irish Government to reject pressure to remove its remaining legal protections for the unborn.

In a letter to the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, the 106 signatories emphasised that there is “no medical basis” for scrapping the three-day reflection period before an abortion.

According to the Health Service Executive, there were 8,057 abortion consultations in 2020 and 6,577 abortions carried out. This suggests that almost one in five women decided not to proceed with an abortion during the three-day waiting period.


The medics commented: “This data offers a hugely important insight that must not be ignored. There are very few Irish people, whether healthcare professionals or otherwise, who would welcome an increase in the number of abortions taking place.

“If women are finding support for an unexpected pregnancy during the three-day wait, then that should be welcomed.”

The letter highlighted that criticism of the reflection period ignores “the very real conflict and difficulties women can often face when society fails to offer the real support needed for an unexpected pregnancy”.

almost one in five women decided not to proceed with an abortion during the three-day waiting period

The medics also noted that the Irish Government previously backed mothers’ time to consider the magnitude of their decision, and that if it goes back on its stance now it would be a “a betrayal of voters, but worse still, a dereliction of duty to mothers and babies”.

DIY abortions

Last month, a pro-life group warned that the Republic of Ireland must not make permanent the temporary coronavirus measures which allow women to take unsafe abortion pills at home.

Early in the coronavirus pandemic, the then Minister for Health Simon Harris determined that women under twelve weeks pregnant could take abortion pills at home following a waiting period of three days after a phone or video consultation with a doctor.

But the Health Service Executive (HSE) is expected to recommend an extension of the measures. The current Health Minister Stephen Donnelly told the lower house of the Irish Parliament that the HSE claimed that “the majority of providers within primary care feel that a blend of remote and in-person care is optimal”.

Unsupervised home abortions have become standard practice across Britain following the pandemic.

Also see:

Baby in womb

RC Archbishop decries censorship of ‘respectful pro-life witness’ in NI

‘Distressing day’: NI Secretary commissions abortion services across Province

MPs speak out against push to make abortion a human right

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