Thursday 19 September 2019

UK doctors help train Irish medics in abortion


Health Minister Simon Harris. Picture: Arthur Carron
Health Minister Simon Harris. Picture: Arthur Carron
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Irish doctors have called on their UK colleagues to help train them in carrying out abortions in advance of the new law extending the grounds for termination of pregnancy.

The Irish Independent has learned Irish medics have enlisted the expertise of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the British Association of Abortion Care Providers.

The Regulation of the Termination of Pregnancy Bill returns to the Dáil for report stage with the aim of having it passed in December and made law by January.

For the first time, maternity hospitals here will be allowed to carry out an abortion where the health and not just the life of a woman is at serious risk. They will also terminate pregnancies where there is diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormality. Around one-third of GPs said during the summer they would provide medical abortions.

The 38-page contract GPs will have to sign if they agree to participate in medical abortions, which has been sent out to every family doctor, states that they need to refer a woman who is between nine and 12-weeks pregnant to a maternity hospital.

If she remains in the care of her GP, she will receive the first medication in the doctor's surgery under medical supervision. She will take the second medication at home.

The GP must ensure she gets a patient information leaflet and is given pain relief.

The GP will give the woman a low sensitivity pregnancy test kit. On a third return visit the GP will be required to provide aftercare.

Irish Independent

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