Obstetricians and gynaecologists back Eighth committee’s recommendations

Fianna Fáil Senator Catherine Ardagh says intervention by doctors’ group is ‘significant’

The Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has said it supports the recommendations of the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution that article 40.3.3 be removed from the Constitution.

The amendment gives effect to the State’s ban on abortion.

In a short statement issued as the Cabinet met on Wednesday to discuss the committee’s report and recommendations last month, the institute said it looked forward to continuing to assist “in informing legislation to enhance women’s health and safety”.

The institute is the national professional and training body for obstetrics and gynaecology in Ireland working to ensure "the highest standards in women's health".


Members are drawn from all maternity units across the State and the current chair is Dr Peter Boylan, former master of the National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street.


Dr Boylan appeared before the committee hearings on October 18th, and in his opening statement he said that article 40.3.3 gave rise to “significant difficulties for doctors practising in Ireland and has caused grave harm to women, including death”.

Dr Boylan said all terminations should be medically supervised and that medical personnel with a conscientious objection should be excused from involvement.

It was his opinion that if termination was legalised it should be funded by the State, rather than delegated to private providers.

Fianna Fáil Senator Catherine Ardagh said on Wednesday the intervention of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists was significant.

She said she supported the findings of the Oireachtas committee and the statement of the institute. At the same press conference, her party colleagues, TDs Willie O'Dea and Darragh O'Brien, said they believed a referendum should be held but added they wanted to study the committee's report further.