After almost a year of legalized abortions in Ireland, many doctors still are refusing to do them.
A new study of general practitioners in Ireland found a “considerable level of unwillingness” to abort unborn babies, according to the Irish Medical Times.
“There is a lack of training and considerable level of unwillingness to participate in this process among Irish GPs,” according to the study.
Less than half of the doctors (48 percent) said they would be willing to prescribe abortion drugs, while 37 percent said they would not. The physicians were almost evenly divided on if abortions should be a part of general medical practices, according to the study.
Significantly, the researchers noted that many of the doctors who responded to their study were young and female.
“It is the first study of this type since the introduction of abortion legislation that we know of,” said lead researcher Dr. Ray O’Connor, of the University of Limerick. “It was also interesting that more younger and female GPs than the national average responded as these are the GPs that females experiencing a crisis pregnancy were more likely to approach in such cases.”
The study also found:
As to whether doctors should be entitled to a conscientious objection but should also be obliged to refer the patient, 92 (72.4%) responders agreed. More than two-thirds of responders (n = 89, 70.1%) felt that necessary patient support services are not currently available. … Nearly all responders (n = 119, 93.7%) were willing to share abortion information with patients.
The study, “Knowledge and attitudes of Irish GPs towards abortion following its legalisation: a cross-sectional study,” was published recently in the BJGP Open | British Journal of General Practice.
The killing of unborn babies became legal in Ireland in January after the once pro-life country voted to repeal its Eighth Amendment protecting the rights of babies in the womb.
The law 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. In August, the Irish Medical Council released new guidelines telling doctors that they must either abort unborn babies themselves or refer women to someone who will.
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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.”
Ireland’s abortion law was quickly rammed through parliament last December, allowing abortions for any reason up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and up to six months in a wide variety of circumstances. It forces taxpayers to pay for abortions and forces Catholic hospitals to provide them.
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 been killed since abortions became legal.