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Abortion right in some cases -- 75pc of GPs

THREE out of four family doctors now believe abortion should take place in limited circumstances.

These include major foetal abnormalities, serious maternal illness where the mother's life is in danger, and rape.

And four out of 10 doctors agree that travelling abroad for the procedure may risk a woman's health.

The findings are contained in a survey on the medical profession's view of the complex issue, published as the possibility of abortion being made legal in very restricted circumstances was debated in the Dail.

The survey of 500 GPs and 244 GP registrars throughout Ireland, reported by the Medical Independent, also found that 11pc of doctors involved knew of a patient who had taken an illegal medical abortifacient to induce an abortion.

It also revealed that 97pc of GPs and 77pc of GP registrars had been attended by a patient who has discussed abortion, while 45pc had seen cases such as this in the past six months.


Dr Mark Murphy, a GP trainee at Sligo General Hospital who co-authored the study, said a large number of doctors -- many of whom do not agree with abortion -- acknowleded there may also be detrimental health effects from travelling.

Meanwhile, four women who have been campaigning for abortion to be made available on medical grounds have denied their Facebook campaign attracted angry messages and said they had received hundreds of messages of support.

Arlette Lyons, Ruth Bowie, Jenny McDonald and Amanda Mellet met TDs at the Dail last week, but said they were not faced with pro-life campaigners outside Leinster House.

Ms Bowie, Ms Lyons and Ms McDonald told Ryan Tubridy on the Late Late Show on Friday they had to travel to Britain for terminations after being told their babies had medical conditions that were "incompatible with life".

The draft legislation on whether abortion should be made legal under certain circumstances was rejected by 111 votes to 20 on Thursday.

The legislation, put forward by Socialist Party TD Clare Daly, was voted down by all Government and Fianna Fail TDs.