Calls for for Dr Peter Boylan to step aside from chairperson role; 1,300 doctors declare support for Yes vote

The Love Both campaign has hit out at chairperson of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Dr Peter Boylan as he "does not speak for his profession on abortion".

It comes after 17 obstetricians from the South/Southwest Hospital Group, who don't believe the body should actively campaign for either side, called on Dr Boylan to temporarily stand aside until after the referendum on the Eighth Amendment.

Dr Peter Boylan

Commenting on the letter Cora Sherlock of the LoveBoth campaign said the intervention of so many obstetricians is a clear indication Mr Boylan does not speak for all professionals involved in the care of pregnant women in Ireland.”

She continued: “Peter Boylan‘s position on this referendum is well known, and he has appeared at political events in favour of introducing abortion before this campaign ever began. However, his remarks about the Eighth Amendment have been criticised again and again by other obstetricians.

"He is not a spokesperson for all medics in maternal healthcare in Ireland and his public advocacy as Chairman of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynecologists must stop. It must be made clear that he does not command support of all his colleagues, a fact that has been confirmed by today’s letter calling on him to ‘stand aside as Chairperson of the Institute until after the referendum’.”

She concluded: “As each day passes, more and more obstetricians are coming forward to say that the Eighth Amendment has never stopped them from offering all protection to women during pregnancy. The government cannot ignore the growing chorus of doctors who are setting the record straight about the value of the life-saving protections of the Eighth Amendment.”

In response, Dr Boylan told RTÉ News that 80% of the Institute's members support a Yes vote, and that seven of those who signed the letter are not members of the organisation.

Meanwhile, National Spokesperson for Doctors Together for Yes, GP Mark Murphy said the 1,300 doctors have so far signed their petition "want to provide safer, more compassionate healthcare in Ireland for our patients".

He added: "The 8th Amendment puts doctors in a constitutional straitjacket which holds us back from providing proper care to our patients. We want this to change and that is why we are publicly declaring our support for a Yes vote."

Campaign Co-Director, Orla O'Connor said, "One of the most encouraging features of the Together for Yes campaign has been the level of support shown by the medical community in the is country for a Yes vote. The growing success of this petition by Doctors Together for Yes, is further evidence of this."

- Digital desk

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