Specialists concerned about ‘rush’ to introduce abortion
The professional body for obstetricians and gynaecologists is to hold an extraordinary general meeting to discuss the introduction of abortion services.
The Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists confirmed yesterday evening that it had received a motion seeking an EGM.
The national professional and training body has around 200 members who are experienced obstetricians andgy na ecologists.
Some of its members called for the EGM to discuss the planned provision of abortion services. They believe this should not go ahead next month until the risks are assessed.
The institute stated that the meeting would give members the opportunity to express an opinion on the introduction of abortion services, particularly the safety and readiness of such services.
“It is entirely appropriate for members to convene a meeting of the institute to discuss these matters formally,” it said in a statement.
Draft guidelines being developed by the institute in anticipation of the introduction of legislation to allow for abortions are almost completed.
“It must be emphasised that the institute has no role, authority, or responsibility in the actual delivery of obstetric and gynaecological services which is the remit of the HSE,” it said.
An EGM can be held 28 days after the motion is received.
Meanwhile, a group of nurses and midwives have joined obstetricians and gy na ecologists in raising concern about “the rush” to introduce abortion services.
The group, Nurses & Midwives4Life Ireland, say they can not understand why Health Minister Simon Harris is insisting on a January 1 deadline.
More than 500 nurses and midwives have signed a petition urging the minister to consult with their profession.
Peter Boylan, the clinical adviser to the HSE’s National Women and Infants Programme, said nurses and doctors could have a conscientious objection to conducting a termination.
“But somebody bringing a patient to an operation theatre cannot have a conscientious objection,” he said. “An institution cannot have a conscientious objection.”
Dr Boylan said there are enough nurses and doctors in hospitals and around the country to provide abortion services, but he said there are genuine concerns held by his medical colleagues.
The Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill passed all stages in the Dáil this week.