‘Together For Yes’ warn of implications of No vote; 'Medical Alliance for 8th' say ending life 'nothing to do with healthcare'
Women in Ireland could be forced to travel even further than the UK for an abortion if the health service in the UK stops treating them, according to the former Master of the National Maternity Hospital.
A hospital in Liverpool temporarily scaled back its services for Irish women recently due to staffing issues.
Dr Peter Boylan was speaking at the launch of the ‘Together For Yes’ campaign ahead of the upcoming abortion referendum.
He says Irish doctors should be allowed to treat women here.
"That's a foretaste of what is likely to happen in the future, both because of the NHS being overstretched and also because of English doctors saying: 'Look, hang on a sec, you need to sort out your own problems'," he said.
"If the NHS, and the UK in general, closes its doors to Irish women, they obviously would have to travel further afield."
Responding today the 'Love Both Project' were critical of the Rotunda Hospital.being chosen by the 'Together for Yes' campaign as a venue for the launch.
“It is deeply sad that we are at this stage in Irish history, where a campaign to remove all meaningful protections from unborn babies could be launched in the grounds of a thriving maternity hospital," said LoveBoth spokesperson Maeve O'Hanlon.
"Under the Eighth Amendment, mothers and their babies receive equal protection and care that is world-class. All of that would change if the repeal side were successful.
“Repealing the Eighth Amendment means leaving Ireland open to whatever wide-ranging abortion laws politicians decide to introduce."
Separately, a number of doctors against the repeal of the 8th amendment launched their campaign today.
The Medical Alliance for the 8th, a group consisting of doctors, nurses, midwives and other health professionals who support keeping the 8th Amendment to the Constitution, held a press briefing in Dublin earlier today.
Dr Siobhan Crowley said that repealing the 8th would be the wrong decision.
"This is the exact opposite of what we, as healthcare professionals, were trained to do, which is to protect human life, not end it," she said.
"It concerns us greatly that without any consultation from government, it is assumed that we will fall into line with the proposal and go from being a healing profession to one that facilitates the ending of a child’s life and abortion on demand.
"Let’s be clear, this proposal from government has nothing to do with healthcare. Abortion is life ending. It is never life-saving. This proposal is about opening the door to wide-ranging abortion and nothing more."