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Health Dept. Fail To Engage With GP’s On Abortion Issues

The National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) held an emergency general meeting (EGM) yesterday in Portlaoise, Co. Laois. Disappointed that the Department of Health had not engaged with ordinary GPs in relation to the provision for the termination of pregnancy services; the purpose of yesterdays meeting was to debate certain complex issues that could arise for females, following the recent repeal of the Eighth Amendment, e.g.  NAGP are concerned that they do not have the necessary resources to provide abortion services.

The EGM held in private, have now agreed the following motions:

(1) The NAGP calls on the Minister for Health to clarify that he does not intend, through legislation, to make a termination of pregnancy service part of routine General Practice.

(2) The NAGP calls on the Minister for Health to ensure an ‘Opt–in’ provision for doctors who wish to provide a termination of pregnancy service and that he (the Minister) will commit to providing the appropriate resources to those providers enabling a safe and effective service.

(3) Motion that the NAGP should advocate for conscientious objection without obligation to refer. “We specifically refer to the Contraceptive, Sterilisation and Abortion 1977 NZ ACT (Sect. 46).” “We ask that a similar section be inserted into the proposed legislation.”

[ Same Section 46 states – No medical practitioner, nurse, or other person shall be under any obligation to perform or assist in the performance of an abortion].

Dr Maitiu O’Tuathail, President of the NAGP,  stated: “Any new service delivery that will be agreed will be delivered by ordinary Doctors and not by politicians. This process must therefore not be rushed. We must undertake these changes correctly from the outset. If this is not done properly it risks being yet another scandal in the health service. We must now advocate for the women of Ireland to ensure they receive the respectful, safe and supportive service which they deserve.”

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