Doctors discussing abortion legislation move scheduled meeting to 'secret' location

Doctors discussing abortion legislation move scheduled meeting to 'secret' location

A group representing pro-choice doctors and obstetricians moved a scheduled meeting from Limerick’s maternity hospital to a “secret” location on Tuesday after concerns were raised that it would attract protests by pro-life campaigners.

Southern Taskgroup on Abortion & Reproductive Topics' meeting was to place at the University Maternity Hospital from 7pm-9pm but it was moved two hours before its scheduled start. Sources confirmed management received “emails and phone calls” in which they were accused of being “abortionists” and “murders”.

“There has been a very orchestrated campaign organised through social media. The hospital has received letters, phone calls and emails,” the source said.

Dr Brian Kennedy with a practice in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, was one of a number of speakers at the meeting.

He told the Limerick Today radio programme they were concerned “pro-life activists would organise crowds of people” at the maternity hospital.

“There was actually a lot of quite frightening intimidation going on. So in the end we had to have a secret location and organise it with WhatsApp groups," he said.

Dr Kennedy said the meeting, attended by 25 GPs, was about educating them about new abortion legislation coming into force in the New Year.

Our local hospitals are where women in crisis are going to be presenting with their crisis pregnancies and with complications of termination of pregnancy etc, and that’s only in four weeks time. I think there is a real will to provide the service in our local hospitals for public patients.

He claimed the hospital was sent “horrible” posters describing management and staff as "‘serial killers’, ‘baby killers’...all sorts of awfulness”.

A spokesperson for UL Hospitals Group confirmed that UMH was the agreed venue for the meeting between GPs and obstetricians "at which care pathways for patients seeking services under the legislation were to have been discussed". The spokesperson said the decision was based on the assumption the legislation would by now have been passed.

"Out of respect for the ongoing legislative process, a decision was taken to defer the meeting.”

More on this topic

Master of the National Maternity Hospital responds to planned pro-life protestsMaster of the National Maternity Hospital responds to planned pro-life protests

Call for safety zones ahead of planned 40-day vigil by pro-life anti-abortion groupCall for safety zones ahead of planned 40-day vigil by pro-life anti-abortion group

Thousands join opposing Belfast rallies on abortion law changeThousands join opposing Belfast rallies on abortion law change

Silent demonstration at Stormont over planned liberalisation of abortion lawsSilent demonstration at Stormont over planned liberalisation of abortion laws


More in this Section

Varadkar: Hard border on island of Ireland post-Brexit will be UK’s faultVaradkar: Hard border on island of Ireland post-Brexit will be UK’s fault

West cork gardaí seek to honour young people for outstanding voluntary community work West cork gardaí seek to honour young people for outstanding voluntary community work

1,000 public sector jobs created as a direct result of Brexit, says new report1,000 public sector jobs created as a direct result of Brexit, says new report

Fermoy teens missing in forest found using infared equipmentFermoy teens missing in forest found using infared equipment


Lifestyle

In January of 1994, RTÉ reporter Tommie Gorman was given a diagnosis that would change his life.Examine Yourself: Getting cancer made sense of everything for Tommie Gorman

In aid of Cancer Awareness Week, we convinced four of our columnists to bare all for our Examine Yourself campaign.Examine Yourself: Baring all for Cancer Awareness Week

It was an effervescent and often moving turn by an artist with a meaningful claim to the title of world’s most interesting pop star.Ariana Grande's opening night at 3Arena in Dublin proved why she is the world's most interesting pop star

Marian Duggan was in her 20s and could not imagine that her symptoms could be so serious, not even when a tennis-ball-size cyst was removed from her left ovary, says Helen O’Callaghan.Examine Yourself: 'I thought I was too young to have cancer'

More From The Irish Examiner