GPs will seek new State contract for abortion services

IMO says family doctors will want provision to opt out on conscience grounds

Irish Times

Martin Wall

GPs will seek to be paid for operating any new abortion service under a new separate contract with the State if the planned referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment is carried.

The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) said at the weekend that GPs would also have to be permitted to opt out of any new abortion service on conscience grounds. . . The IMO has said individual GPs could not and should not be obliged to provide an abortion service. . . [Full text]


Doctor’s role in abortion law ‘must be clarified’

Irish Independent

Eilish O’Regan

Doctors have stressed the need for legal clarity to allow them to act in line with their own conscience and personally held views if the country’s abortion laws are changed.

Health Minister Simon Harris has promised the draft legislation, setting out proposals to widen grounds for abortion, will be published next month.

The Eighth Amendment would first have to be repealed in the upcoming referendum before any legislation could follow.

If controversial proposals to allow unrestricted access to abortion pills in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy go ahead, GPs in particular will be in the frontline for delivering the service. . . . [Full Text]

Developments in Ireland

The Irish government has promised to introduce legislation and regulations concerning abortion in July. [Irish Independent] Meanwhile, the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has rejected motions seeking the group’s approval of regulations for circumstances in which there is a “real and substantial risk to the mother,” abortion in the case of rape or incest, and abortion when a foetus is diagnosed to have a fatal abnormality. The vote at the IMO annual conference reflects sharply different views from the results of some Irish public opinion polls, and contrasts with a 2011 poll that found 75% of 300 Irish general practitioners surveyed supported some form of legalization of abortion.[Irish Independent]