Midwives and other healthcare professionals have no statutory right to conscientious objection
Northern Ireland midwives who object to providing abortion care have been advised by their professional body to inform their management as soon as possible.
The new arrangements mean that women will not be criminalised for seeking an abortion and midwives and other healthcare professionals will not be criminally prosecuted for providing abortion services.
However, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said that at the moment, “midwives and other healthcare professionals continue to have no statutory right to conscientious objection”. . . . [Full text]
Northern Irish GP’s warning comes after abortion decriminalised in Northern Ireland
Hundreds of healthcare professionals in Northern Ireland will refuse to be involved in services which carry out abortions, a doctor has warned.
Abortion has long been illegal in Northern Ireland in almost all circumstances – including rape and incest – but the procedure was decriminalised in Northern Ireland on Tuesday.
Andrew Cupples, a Northern Irish GP who is strongly opposed to the liberalisation of abortion laws, has said a number of healthcare professionals have personally told him they would leave their jobs if they were made to carry out an abortion. . . [Full text]
Marie-Louise Connolly, Catherine Smyth
Hundreds of health professionals have written to the NI secretary expressing opposition to the liberalisation of NI’s abortion laws.
The doctors, nurses and midwives say their consciences will not allow them to stay silent on the issue.
They want reassurance as “conscientious objectors” that they will not have to perform or assist abortions.
Unless the NI assembly is restored by 21 October, restrictions on abortion in NI will be drastically reduced. . . . [Full text]
Midwife voices fear for conscientious objectors if NI legislation changes
Health workers in Northern Ireland could be left “exposed” by changes to abortion law, a lecturer in midwifery has claimed.
Debbie Duncan spent over 30 years working as a midwife in Scotland and England and now lectures at the school of nursing and midwifery at Queen’s University Belfast.
She was never obliged to take part in abortions during her career as the law allowed her to conscientiously object.
Ms Duncan said she fears “too much change with no regulation” means the same protections may not apply here. . . [Full text]
One in six midwifery posts are being left vacant.
THERE ARE OVER 1,300 vacant nursing and midwifery posts in Irish hospitals due to the HSE’s effective recruitment freeze, the INMO has said today.
Phil Ní Sheaghdha of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has said the figures demonstrate that the government is “refusing to fill frontline healthcare posts” and that patient care is being compromise as a result. . . [Full text]