New guidelines from the Irish Medical Council tell doctors that they must either abort unborn babies themselves or refer women to someone who will.
The Irish Times reported about the revised ethical guidelines this week amid growing concerns about conscience protections for medical workers in Ireland.
Ireland’s new abortion law, which was rammed through parliament in December, allows abortions for any reason up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and up to six months in a wide variety of circumstances. It also forces taxpayers to pay for abortions and forces Catholic hospitals to provide them. The law, which went into effect in January, strictly limits conscience protections for medical professionals, and hundreds of doctors and nurses fear being forced to help abort unborn babies or lose their jobs.
The new guidelines add to those concerns. According to the Times, doctors have “a duty” to provide abortions or help women get them – even if they believe aborting an unborn baby is a grave moral evil.
Here’s more from the report:
The revised guide says that doctors may refuse to provide, or to participate in carrying out, a procedure, lawful treatment or form of care which conflicts with their sincerely- held ethical or moral values. However it also sets out obligations that the doctor will have to the patient in such circumstances.
“If you have a conscientious objection to a treatment or form of care, you should inform patients, colleagues, and, where relevant, your employer as soon as possible. If you hold a conscientious objection to a treatment, you must:
– inform the patient that they have a right to seek treatment from another doctor; and
– give the patient enough information to enable them to transfer to another doctor to get the treatment they want.
The council also tells pro-life doctors that they must “help make it as easy as possible for the patient” to get an abortion.
“When discussing the referring and or transferring a patients’ care to another health professional, you should be sensitive and respectful so as to minimise any distress your decision may cause,” the guidelines state. “You should make sure that patients’ care is not interrupted and their access to care is not impede their access to care.”
The strict, oppressive new mandate comes after reports indicate that hospitals are having “difficulty” doing abortions because so many of their staffers refuse to help kill unborn babies.
Some medical workers have been standing strong against government leaders’ pro-abortion agenda.
In June, Dr. Trevor Hayes and three other OB-GYNs at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny said they “decided unanimously” not to perform abortions at their hospital.
Hayes said pro-abortion political leaders will create a major health crisis if they bully medical professionals into performing abortions, because many will quit rather than kill an unborn child, Kilkenny Now reported at the time.
“If this means that doctors and nurses and other medical professionals are being forced out of medicine, this will only add to the staffing crisis already crippling the health service,” he said. “Abortion is not life-saving. It’s life-ending. It’s not health care, and no amount of spin can make it health care.”
He criticized Minister for Health Simon Harris, one of the key activists who pushed Ireland to legalize abortion.
“He is obsessing with abortion,” Hayes said. “It’s a procedure that helps no one and takes the life of a child. Instead he is trying to bully good men and women to get involved in abortion against their conscience.”
Last year, abortion activists, backed by some of the world’s richest men, succeeded in convincing Irish voters to repeal the Eighth Amendment and allow abortion on demand. After the May vote, parliament quickly rammed through the radical pro-abortion law amid numerous complaints from medical professionals.
Leaders of Irish hospitals said they did not have the equipment or training to begin abortions so soon and women’s lives could be put at risk. Others said they may not be able to comply with the law because so many of their staff object to abortions.
In April, pro-life advocates said pro-abortion political leaders are prioritizing spending on abortion over maternity care, and two pregnant women died in Irish maternity hospitals.
“The government is taking money away from a vitally important strategy to ensure women do not die in pregnancy – and giving it to funding abortion. There is no clearer way of showing that their priorities do not lie with protecting women, but simply with ending the lives of preborn babies,” Niamh Uí Bhriain of The Life Institute wrote.
It is not clear how many unborn babies have died since abortions became legal in January in Ireland.