A meeting of the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) about the upcoming introduction of legalized elective abortion in Ireland was disrupted when dozens of doctors walked out in protest. The Irish Examiner reports that the meeting was called at the request of doctors in the ICGP to discuss their concerns about the introduction of abortion in Ireland on January 1, 2019, following the referendum last May.
Dr. Andrew O’Regan told the Irish Examiner that about a third of the more than 300 members at the ICGP meeting walked out when the board “refused to accept members’ motions from the floor.” O’Regan, who is pro-life, said those protesting were not only pro-life doctors or those seeking conscientious objection to participating in abortion but also pro-abortion doctors who had concerns about the introduction of elective abortion carried out by general practitioners that the board refused to address.
Another doctor, Kirsten Fuller, told the Irish Examiner following the meeting, “a serious crisis now exists that the Government cannot ignore regarding the roll-out of GP-led abortion services.”
Currently, Ireland’s Health Minister, Simon Harris, who campaigned aggressively in favor of the referendum to overturn legal protection of the preborn, is pushing legislation through the Dáil, Ireland’s parliament, that would legalize elective abortion up to 12 weeks for any reason and up to six months for a variety of circumstances. Harris has previously refused to grant Catholic hospitals the right to opt-out of committing or referring for abortions and has minimized or ignored doctors’ rights to conscientious objection.
Before being disrupted, the meeting of the ICGP heard concerns from many doctors that general practice was not the appropriate setting for elective abortions, and many doctors thought there should be specialized abortion facilities. Nonetheless, Harris and pro-abortion activists have insisted on pushing a plan to force general practice physicians to participate in abortions and demanded that all abortions in Ireland be paid for by taxpayers.
Harris and other pro-abortion politicians have made much of the fact that the referendum in May was a democratic process, implying that doctors and hospitals must participate in abortions and taxpayers must fund them because the majority of Irish voters favor abortion.
However, the referendum did not put forward any specifics and only repealed the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution that recognized the right to life of the preborn child as equal to his or her mother. As pro-life campaigners warned at the time, overturning this legal protection was essentially giving the government a blank check to legalize abortion on-demand for any reason up to birth.
Some of the extreme developments in the forthcoming legislation have shown this is exactly what has happened.