Ireland is reeling after its Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that all publicly funded hospitals in Ireland will be forced to provide abortions.
“It will not, however, be possible for publicly-funded hospitals, no matter who their patron or owner is, to opt out of providing these necessary services, which will be legal in this state once this legislation is passed by the Dáil and Seanad (senate),” Varadkar said on Monday, according to the Catholic News Agency.
A huge number of hospitals in Ireland are Catholic and an online Irish health care professionals survey found that 70 percent of general practitioners object to performing abortions.
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Varadkar told the Parliament that hospitals cannot opt out of providing abortions, but individual doctors can choose not to perform abortions if they vehemently object. He added that no matter their affiliation, hospitals “will be required, and will be expected to, carry out any procedure that is legal in this state and that is the model we will follow.”
“For healthcare professionals, the right of conscientious objection must be respected,” the Irish bishops said in a statement, noting that asking medical professions to refer patients for abortion is also a violation of their conscious even if they are not forced to perform abortions.
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“It’s clear the government haven’t thought this one through,” Pro-Life Campaign spokeswoman Dr. Ruth Cullen said, suggesting that the government isn’t in touch with its own people.
The move comes after Ireland voted to legalize abortion on May 26.
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