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'Abortion is not part of routine general practice. 85% of GPs are of this opinion'

3 54 655
13.06.2018

I AM A pro choice doctor, and voted yes in the recent referendum. I am willing to provide medical termination of pregnancy services to patients, but I equally respect both the views and rights of my colleagues who would not be willing to provide such a service.

Being pro choice is one thing, but providing an abortion service is another. It is vital that we respect one another’s views, both that of GPs and patients.

Equally, as a doctor I would prefer my patients to see a doctor who was willing to provide a medical abortion than one who was forced to do it. Again, as a pro choice doctor I fully respect the views of my colleagues who conscientiously object. I respect everyone’s right to hold an opinion, beliefs and moral views.

We are a broad church

I do not believe that any member of society, whether a doctor or not, should be forced to do anything they do not want to do. To threaten them with jail on the grounds of conscientious objection is wrong on many levels.

There are workable solutions to this challenge for example the legislation on conscientious objection in New Zealand, which respects the views of all.

We are a broad church and must respect the beliefs and viewpoints of all of society, whether we agree with them or not. I would prefer my father to be seen by a surgeon who wanted to operate on him, rather than one who was forced to do so. I would want the same for my sister, should she wish to access abortion services in Ireland.

An opt-in service

We know the majority of GPs in Ireland prefer an-opt in service, as this finding has been replicated in three polls of GPs to date.

We also know that 20% of GPs would be willing to provide an abortion service when required. This is enough to provide a service to the women of Ireland in their own locality.

We must respect the right of........

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