Spe­cial­ists con­cerned about ‘rush’ to in­tro­duce abor­tion

Irish Examiner - - News - Eve­lyn Ring

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.

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