Dismissing wide-spread concerns in the Irish medical community, pro-abortion politicians are ramming through a bill that would force hospitals to begin aborting unborn babies on Jan. 1 throughout Ireland.
Doctors have warned that Jan. 1 is a “dangerously unrealistic deadline,” and could cause a major health crisis in Ireland. It also could put women in danger by legalizing abortions before hospitals are equipped to provide them or treat complications.
Hundreds of other medical professionals are worried about a lack of conscience protections and the possible loss of their jobs for refusing to help abort unborn babies.
This week, Dr. Peter Boylan, an adviser to the government on the abortion legislation, acknowledged the medical community’s concerns in an interview with RTE’s Today, but defended the Jan. 1 start date anyway. He claimed the number of Irish women seeking abortions in January is “not going to be huge.”
He also claimed it would be “unfair to women” to delay abortions any longer.
But Professor Chris Fitzpatrick, former master of the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, warned that the start date is “dangerously unrealistic,” according to Newstalk.
Fitzpatrick, who supports legalized abortion, said it poses “a serious threat to the health and well-being of women” because the government has pushed through the legislation with “inadequate planning and insufficient resources.”
Leading physicians with the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists also are voicing strong concerns about “risks to patient safety due to inadequate preparation,” The Irish Times reports. Members are calling for an emergency meeting to debate a motion that its doctors “cannot” begin aborting unborn babies Jan. 1, according to the report.
“There are very serious concerns by many members that it will be highly unsafe to commence this service in January and that legislation should not be implemented until it is safe to do,” said an OB-GYN who signed the motion.
Surprisingly, even several pro-abortion groups told The Irish Times that they believe the start date is “unrealistic.” The newspaper did not name the groups.
Boylan admitted there are risks, but dismissed the potential threats to women’s lives by saying no medical service is perfect.
“We would certainly love to have a perfect service,” Boylan said. “But if we wait until there are perfect working condition for doctors and patients we will still be here in two to three year’s time.”
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His remarks suggest that legalizing abortion on demand is more important to government leaders than ensuring women’s safety or medical professionals’ rights.
[F]ormer master of the Rotunda Professor Sam Coulter-Smith said there were “serious impact issues” for maternity hospitals.
“We’re asking for this service to be provided in a hospital setting by obstetricians, gynaecologists, nurses, and midwives who are all currently fully occupied,” he said.
Prof Coulter-Smith said many people were struggling with how the extra demands would affect maternity services.
Earlier this week, dozens of doctors stormed out of an emergency meeting about the legislation. They said political leaders have been ramming through the bill without consulting the medical community or giving it ample time to prepare. The Irish Times reports government leaders also admitted that ethical guidelines for doctors on abortion will not be ready by Jan. 1.
Meanwhile, parliament appears on the verge of passing the radical pro-abortion bill. The Dáil (the lower house) passed the bill this week, and the Seanad (the upper house) is expected to vote early next week.
The bill would legalize abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and up to six months in a wide variety of circumstances. It would force taxpayers to pay for unborn babies’ abortion deathsand force Catholic hospitals to provide them. The bill also strictly limits conscience protections for medical professionals, and hundreds of doctors and nurses fear being forced to help abort unborn babies or losing their jobs.
The Dáil rejected a number of amendments that would have at least moderated the radical pro-abortion bill. Earlier Wednesday, TDs rejected an amendment to require parental consent for girls under 16 who want to abort their unborn babies. They also voted against amendments to ban sex-selection abortions and taxpayer-funded abortions and to require basic medical care for infants born alive after botched abortions. Irish Legal reports they also rejected an amendment to provide better conscience protections for doctors.
The legislation is much more extreme than what voters wanted when they chose to repeal the pro-life Eighth Amendment in May. An October poll by Amárach found that 60 percent of Irish residents oppose taxpayer-funded abortions. In addition, a full 80 percent say health care workers should not be forced to carry out abortions against their conscience.