Abortion services and conscientious objection

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Sir, – It is particularly galling to see how, after a landslide vote to allow women legal access to abortion care, parts of the medical establishment seem to be reverting back to previous form. We hear about conscientious objection, about opt-in solutions versus opt-out solutions, about whether GPs should even be obliged to refer those who need a procedure. We hear about busy surgeries and waiting lists. We hear about job descriptions, and whether or not someone wants to take on a new task.

You don’t hear much about the women, many vulnerable, many who might have serious health issues, many who are just looking to get the care they are legally entitled to receive.

If you didn’t know better, you could easily think that this was actually not about women at all. Again. – Yours, etc,

ELBHA O’SULLIVAN.

Rochestown,

Co Cork.

Sir, – Newton Emerson clearly states that “no GP should be allowed opt out of providing an abortion service” (Opinion & Analysis, June 14th), while the current ethical code of the Irish Medical Council also clearly states that “Doctors have an ethical duty to protect the life and health of pregnant women and their unborn babies” (Article 48.1 of the current ethical guidelines).

So, despite the recent removal of constitutional protection, how can the Government impose a total disregard for early humanity, albeit and especially, in a professional context? – Yours, etc,

Dr PAUL MacMULLAN,

Calgary,

Alberta, Canada.

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