Doctors issue concerns on abortion

On the 27th May, the Irish Independent carried a letter signed by approx 50 doctors who said they have grave concerns over the proposed abortion legislation. Here is the letter reproduced in full.

There is grave concern among doctors across the specialties about the proposed legislation for termination of pregnancy in the case of threatened suicide on the part of the mother.

Many of us have practised, or are now practising, in jurisdictions where such legislation was the first step towards what has become abortion on demand. Attempts to revisit legislation and reduce the number of abortions by restricting the grounds on which termination of pregnancy may be performed, such as gestational age, have been fraught and largely fruitless. Those who think there will be a second chance, whether by so-called sunset clause or otherwise, are naive.

We would like to make a clear statement to the members of the Oireachtas that there is no evidence that termination is the treatment for threatened suicide in pregnancy and that if they vote for the proposed legislation, they will be voting for the legalisation of abortion in this  country.

Those members of the Oireachtas who believe that they are only doing what the Constitution permits since the "X" judgement, should seek to examine the psychiatric evidence heard by the Supreme Court in 1992. They will find none.

They might alternatively examine the statements of the psychiatrists called before the Oireachtas Health Committee hearings in 2012, to see what evidence there is that might support the Supreme Court decision. They will find none.

We would also remind them that the WHO consistently places Ireland in the top five countries for women's safety in pregnancy, out of 171 countries surveyed.  This has been the case for the past 25 years and without abortion.

We would urge members of the Oireachtas respectfully, but robustly, to vote against the proposed legislation.

   Yours sincerely,
1.     Dr Ann Barry, General Practitioner, Dublin
2.     Dr Anne Kennedy, General Practitioner, Mayo
3.     Dr Anne Ryan, General Practitioner, Kildare
4.     Dr Anne-Marie Leech, General Practitioner, Wexford
5.     Dr Bridget O’Brien, General Practitioner, Kerry
6.     Dr Cliodhna Donnelly, Palliative Care, Galway
7.     Dr Cristina Bordinc, General Practitioner, Wexford
8.     Dr Daniel Purcell, General Practitioner, Kildare
9.     Prof David Ryan, Maxillo-Facial Surgeon, Dublin
10.  Dr Deirdre Gleeson, Occupational Health Physician /GP, Kildare
11.  Prof Eamonn O'Dwyer, Obstetrician Gynaecologist, Galway
12.  Dr Eileen Reilly, Obstetrician Gynaecologist, Galway
13.  Dr Eoghan De Faoite, NCHD, Dublin
14.  Dr Felim T Donnelly, General Practitioner, Galway
15.  Dr George Fuller, General Practitioner, Cork
16.  Dr Helen T O'Brien, General Practitioner, Dublin
17.  Dr James Sheehan, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Galway
18.  Dr Janina Lyons, General Practitioner, Dublin
19.  Dr John C Kehoe, General Practitioner, Kildare
20.  Dr John Kehoe SNR, General Practitioner, Kildare
21.  Dr John Monaghan, Obstetrician Gynaecologist,  Galway
22.  Dr Jonathan Jacob, General Practitioner, Carlow
23.  Dr Jude McSharry, General Practitioner, Sligo
24.  Dr Maire Mirium Duggan, Obstetrician Gynaecologist, Dublin
25.  Dr Maire Nic Ghearailt, General Practitioner, Wicklow
26.  Dr Mairead MacConnaill, General Practitioner, Cork
27.  Dr Marie Therese McKenna, General Practitioner, Donegal
28.  Dr Marie Twomey, Palliative Care, Dublin
29.  Dr Mary P Carroll, Radiologist, Donegal
30.  Dr Maureen Brennan, General Practitioner, Dublin
31.  Dr Maurice Fahy, General Practitioner, Kerry
32.  Dr Michael Salter, General Practitioner Wicklow
33.  Dr Mirium Hogan, General Practitioner, Kilkenny
34.  Dr Murrogh Birmingham, General Practitioner, Donegal
35.  Dr Myles Monaghan, Anaesthetics Trainee, Dublin
36.  Dr Olive Pierse, General Practitioner, Kerry
37.  Dr Orla Halpenny, General Practitioner, Dublin
38.  Dr Paschal O'Dea, General Practitioner, Carlow
39.  Dr Patricia O'Toole, General Practitioner, Carlow
40.  Dr Patrick Kelly, General Practitioner Trainee, Waterford
41.  Dr Patrick McSharry, General Practitioner, Sligo
42.  Dr Pauline Burke, Public Health, Limerick
43.  Dr Pauline Kane, General Practitioner, Dublin
44.  Dr Peter Quinn, General Practitioner, Cork
45.  Dr Phil Boyle, Fertility Specialist, Galway
46.  Dr Phillip Aherne, General Practitioner, Kildare
47.  Dr Ravi Kumar, General Practitioner, Wexford
48.  Dr Rita O'Connor, General Medicine, Clare
49.  Dr Seamus Kennedy, General Practitioner, Mayo
50.  Dr Sean O'Domhnaill, Psychiatrist, Kildare
51.  Dr Sinead Kelly, Palliative Care, Dublin
52.  Dr Trevor Hayes, Obstetrician Gynaecologist, Kilkenny
53.  Dr Ursula Nusgen, Microbiologist, Dublin
54.  Dr William P Fox, General Practitioner, Wexford
55.  Dr William Purcell, General Practitioner, Kildare



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