Guest Column

Ireland abortion review recommends letting doctors abort babies at all ages without penalty


(Right to Life UK) 8A report on the three-year review of abortion in Ireland has been released. Abortion law in Ireland made this review mandatory as part of Legislation in 2019.

Doctors should be immune from prosecution for performing abortions up to birth

The highly controversial review has recommended that physicians who perform abortions be immune from prosecution if they perform an abortion at any stage of pregnancy. This effectively makes abortion legal up until the point of birth within a setting approved by the legislation.

The review has also recommended the scrapping of the three-day waiting period before an abortion can happen despite the fact that thousands of women had their babies instead of an abortion after the three-day waiting period.

The Pro-Life Campaign in Ireland has been highly critical of the report, which failed to use official government figures that show that between 2019 and 2021, of those who had an initial abortion consultation, 3,951 women did not return for a second consultation.

Instead, the review refers to a small study by a pro-abortion doctors’ group in Ireland, START.

Commenting on this discrepancy, Pro Life Campaign spokesperson Eilís Mulroy said, “This major flaw in the report undermines the credibility of its recommendation to remove the three-day waiting period and further casts a shadow over the entire report’s trustworthiness.”

End funding for hospitals that don’t perform abortions

In addition, the review also recommends imposing an obligation on medical professionals to refrain from providing “misinformation” to women accessing abortion.

Mulroy has criticised this recommendation asking “Who’ll adjudicate on what constitutes misleading information? Will informing women about peer-reviewed medical research documenting the adverse effects of abortion on women be deemed misinformation?”

The review also recommends that funding be removed from hospitals that do not perform abortions in an effort to force them to do so.

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Mulroy continued, “In addition to the unrelenting pro-abortion recommendations in the report, there’s also the gaping omissions. There is not a single mention in the recommendations about promoting positive alternatives to abortion.”

“The recommendations, if given effect, would represent a total departure from the basis on which people voted in the 2018 referendum. It would also inevitably lead to more abortions taking place every year”, she said.

“The Government should focus on looking for ways to reduce Ireland’s soaring abortion rate rather than looking at scrapping the three-day reflection period before an abortion happens or considering fully decriminalising abortion effectively permitting it up to nine months.”

“There were 8,500 abortions in Ireland in 2022 meaning one baby is being aborted for every seven babies being born. This massive loss of life since the new law has taken effect is a national tragedy. The Pro Life Campaign will do everything in its power to prevent a truly awful situation from becoming considerably worse.”

Right To Life UK spokesperson said “The recommendation to remove the three-day waiting period based on no discernible reason is a disgrace, especially since the evidence indicates that it has saved lives. Additionally, it seems to suggest that all voices of dissent must be silenced.”

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published at Right to Life UK and is reprinted here with permission. 

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