Thursday 21 September 2017

Master of Rotunda says he was wrong on abortion law

Dr. Sam Coulter-Smith
Dr. Sam Coulter-Smith
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

The law allowing for termination of pregnancy where a woman is at risk of suicide has not “opened the floodgates” – despite predictions that it would, the Master of the Rotunda Hospital, Dr Sam Coulter-Smith has admitted.

Dr Coulter-Smith said he was among those who feared that the inclusion of suicide risk in the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act would lead to a rise in requests for terminations.

“I overestimated that people would use the mental health clause,” said Dr Coulter-Smith, in a wide-ranging interview before he steps down as Master in December.

The law – passed in July 2013  – allows for terminations where a woman’s life is at risk due to physical complications or threat of suicide.

Nationally, 26 pregnancies were terminated in 2014, with three ended as the pregnant woman was at risk of suicide.

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