Doctors and nurses across the Republic of Ireland are refusing to participate in abortions following the recent change in the law.
More than half of the country’s 19 maternity units are not currently providing abortions.
Dr Cliona Murphy, Chairwoman of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said that it’s been difficult finding staff who are “happy” to carry out abortions.
Dr Andrew O’Regan, a practitioner in Co Kerry who objects to the law, said that only 10 per cent of Ireland’s GPs have agreed to perform abortions.
On a personal level, he said: “I will never do anything that will intentionally lead to the death of one of my patients, be that a baby in the womb or anybody else – an old or sick person – whether I’m operating within the law.”
I will never do anything that will intentionally lead to the death of one of my patients, be that a baby in the womb or anybody else – an old or sick person – whether I’m operating within the law.
“The welfare of the patients in front of me is more important than a very, very corrupt law”.
The law to legalise abortion on demand up to twelve weeks in Ireland was passed in December 2018, following a referendum.
Abortions have legally been taking place since the start of January.
Dr Murphy said: “You need a certain core number of people willing to do those procedures, and also nursing staff willing to assist. In some hospitals, that has been difficult because not everybody is happy.”