Wednesday 26 April 2017

Abortion law strangled at birth by unworkable guidelines

A candlelight vigil to mark the first anniversary of the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar at University Hospital Galway last year
A candlelight vigil to mark the first anniversary of the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar at University Hospital Galway last year
Protest after Savita Halapanavar's death - The current heated exchanges between the HSE and the Health Information and Equality Authority (Hiqa) regarding the latter’s report on the pattern of infant deaths in Portlaoise Hospital highlight a matter of the utmost importance – the accountability of senior managers when things go wrong

Mark Murphy

GUIDELINES helping doctors interpret the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act (PLDPA) 2013 are to be formally published in the coming weeks.

Listening to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald's recent comments to the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC), one could assume that I, as a GP, will have greater clarity in how I manage a pregnant women whose health or life is in danger. But the leaked guidance document tells the same old story.

The law will force professional misconduct upon my personal practice and on every doctor who manages a crisis pregnancy. It prevents my conscientious commitment to treat women who choose abortion with compassion and respect. We have allowed an orthodox Catholic teaching from the 1983 'pro-life' referendum to dictate the medical management of all pregnant women.

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