Press Statement: Repeal equals walk-in unrestricted abortion, says medical group

“Creating a climate of fear about the safety of mothers is misleading and does no service to anybody” – Dr Crowley

The Medical Alliance for the 8th held a press briefing in Dublin earlier today to express their concerns about the Government’s referendum proposals to repeal the 8th Amendment. The Alliance is a group consisting of doctors, nurses, midwives and other health professionals who support keeping the 8th Amendment to the Constitution.

Speaking at the event on Kildare Street, Dr Siobhan Crowley, a GP from Co Kerry, said:
“In the event of repeal, the Government proposes to have a GP led system providing walk in unrestricted, abortion on request in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This is the exact opposite of what we as healthcare professionals were trained to do, which is to protect human life not end it.

“It concerns us greatly that without any consultation from government, it is assumed that we will fall into line with the proposal and go from being a healing profession to one that facilitates the ending of a child’s life and abortion on demand.

“Let’s be clear, this proposal from government has nothing to do with healthcare. Abortion is life ending. It is never life-saving. This proposal is about opening the door to wide-ranging abortion and nothing more.

Dr Crowley continued:

“As doctors and as healthcare professionals we believe it is wholly unacceptable and unsafe to hastily push through plans without consideration of the implications.

“In recent days, we’ve been in touch with GPs, nurses, midwives and other healthcare colleagues around Ireland. We can state confidently that there is widespread opposition and concern within our profession over what the government is proposing.

“It has become clear to our group that repeal of the 8th Amendment would lead to abortion on demand in Ireland and to an abortion regime that is more extreme than in Britain where one in five pregnancies end in abortion. Even aside from this concern, we as doctors, nurses and midwives cannot agree or be part of a law which would allow the intended targeting of the life of a child. We believe in the need for support and compassion for every woman who finds herself with an unplanned pregnancy and the need to provide real and positive alternatives to those who feel, for whatever reason, that they cannot cope with or look after a baby.”

Dr Crowley concluded: “I am a GP, I’m also a mother, and expecting a baby in the coming weeks. I believe every woman deserves to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of the circumstances of her pregnancy. It is reassuring for me to live and practice medicine in a country that has such an outstanding record in protecting the lives of women during pregnancy, and to be the recipient of such high quality antenatal healthcare. It is really important to note that Ireland without abortion is a safer country in which to be pregnant than for example England or the US where widespread abortion is available. Creating a climate of fear about the safety of mothers is misleading and does no service to anybody.”

Before today’s press event, the Medical Alliance for the 8th met with a group of individuals who have personal stories related to the abortion issue and who support keeping the 8th Amendment.

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