Plan will lead to 'abortion on demand', claim GPs
More than 120 GPs from around the country have warned that the Government proposals to liberalise the grounds for termination of pregnancy will amount to "abortion on demand".
As the nation goes to polling stations to vote on repealing the Eighth Amendment, the 122 family doctors put their names to an open letter expressing "serious concerns" about Health Minister Simon Harris's plan.
It entails unrestricted abortions up until 12 weeks of gestation.
Dr Brendan Crowley, one of the signatories, said the doctors were "not expressing a position on abortion one way or the other".
"However, we are united in the view that the Government's proposals would open the door to abortion on demand in a similar manner to that prevailing in Britain," he said.
"As GPs, we have serious concerns about the Government's proposed law on abortion that envisages a GP-led service for unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks, in the event of repeal of the Eighth Amendment.
"In circumstances where the draft abortion law specifies that the role of the GP will be 'carrying out the termination of pregnancy' at the request of the patient, without the need for any reason to be given by the patient, there is no way such a proposal could be described as 'healthcare'.
"The Government's legislative proposal in the event of the referendum passing would also permit abortion, including on mental health grounds, up to 24 weeks in pregnancy.
"Again, these vague and ill-defined grounds for abortion do not constitute evidence-based healthcare."
The GPs include former Independent TD from Mayo Dr Jerry Cowley, former president of the Irish Medical Organisation Dr Ken Egan, and Killarney family doctor Dr Gary Stack.