Nearly seven in ten GPs in the Republic of Ireland do not intend to carry out abortions, according to a new survey.
The country voted last month to repeal key constitutional protections for the right to life of the unborn child.
The Irish Government is expected to rush through legislation to allow for abortion on demand during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy.
But according to the survey published by GPBuddy.ie, 69 per cent of GPs do not plan to provide medical abortions. A further 20 per cent said they are unsure and only eleven per cent said they would.
The survey also found that the majority of GPs conscientiously object to abortion.
Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has already stated that GPs will be able to object to carrying out abortions, but will be required to refer patients elsewhere.
Sixty per cent of respondents said they did not believe abortions can be “safely provided” by GPs. Over three quarters added that they disagree with abortion on demand up to 12 weeks being “GP-led.”
The Pro Life Campaign described the results of the poll as “very revealing and significant”, and hit out at the Government’s plans.
Dr Ruth Cullen, for the Pro Life Campaign, said: “It is unconscionable for Minister Harris and the Government to compel doctors who don’t wish to dispense abortion pills to refer women to colleagues who will carry out the procedure.”
She added: “We are witnessing something truly appalling at present – a government that seems prepared to trample on freedom of conscience in order to keep the pretence going that their abortion proposals are somehow medically indicated and based.”
The campaign for abortion on demand won the referendum by 66.4 per cent of the vote to 33.6 per cent.
When the result was announced, Pro-life campaign group Save the 8th described it as “a tragedy of historic proportions”.
The group remained defiant in defeat, saying in a statement that it will oppose the Irish Government as it tries to legislate, adding that “if and when abortion clinics are opened in Ireland”, it would also oppose them.
The statement concluded: “Abortion was wrong yesterday. It remains wrong today. The constitution has changed, but the facts have not.”