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There is grave concern among doctors across the specialities about the proposed legislation for termination of pregnancy in the case of threatened suicide on the part of the mother.
Many of us have practised, or are now practising, in jurisdictions where such legislation was the first step towards what has become abortion on demand. Attempts to revisit legislation and reduce the number of abortions by restricting the grounds on which termination of pregnancy may be performed, such as gestational age, have been fraught and largely fruitless.
Those who think there will be a second chance, whether by so-called sunset clause or otherwise, are naive.
We would like to make a clear statement to the members of the Oireachtas that there is no evidence that termination is the treatment for threatened suicide in pregnancy and that if they vote for the proposed legislation, they will be voting for the legalisation of abortion in this country.
Those members of the Oireachtas who believe that they are only doing what the Constitution permits since the X Case judgment, should seek to examine the psychiatric evidence heard by the Supreme Court in 1992. They will find none.
They might alternatively examine the statements of the psychiatrists called before the Oireachtas Health Committee hearings in 2012, to see what evidence there is that might support the Supreme Court decision. They will find none.
We would also remind them that the WHO consistently places Ireland in the top five countries for women’s safety in pregnancy, out of 171 countries surveyed.
This has been the case for the past 25 years and without abortion.
We would urge members of the Oireachtas respectfully, but robustly, to vote against the proposed legislation.
Dr Ann Barry, General Practitioner, Dublin;
Dr Anne Kennedy, General Practitioner, Mayo;
Dr Anne Ryan, General Practitioner, Kildare;
Dr Anne-Marie Leech, General Practitioner, Wexford;
Dr Bridget O’Brien, General Practitioner, Kerry;
Dr Cliodhna Donnelly, Palliative Care, Galway;
Dr Cristina Bordinc, General Practitioner, Wexford;
Dr Daniel Purcell, General Practitioner, Kildare;
Prof David Ryan, Maxillo-Facial Surgeon, Dublin;
Dr Deirdre Gleeson, Occupational Health Physician/GP, Kildare;
Prof Eamonn O’Dwyer, Obstetrician Gynaecologist, Galway;
Dr Eileen Reilly, Obstetrician Gynaecologist, Galway;
Dr Eoghan De Faoite, NCHD, Dublin;
Dr Felim T Donnelly, General Practitioner, Galway;
Dr George Fuller, General Practitioner, Cork
Doctors For Life Ireland
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