Irish doctors will still have the right to object to providing abortion service, says Irish Medical Association 5 months ago

Irish doctors will still have the right to object to providing abortion service, says Irish Medical Association

"While the referendum campaign has now ended, this matter is not yet concluded."

Doctors who express their "conscientious objections" to abortion must be considered by the Government during their creation of a new legislative proposal following the outcome of the referendum, the Irish Medical Organisation has requested.

In a statement, the organisation has stated that it recognises the Referendum result, while noting that it will be vital to create both a regime that facilitates access to abortion services, while also acknowledging a doctor's right to object to the service.

"While the referendum campaign has now ended, this matter is not yet concluded," the statement reads.

"The focus must now shift to legislators and the legislative process within which a detailed legal framework to facilitate the outcome of the referendum must be created.

"The organisation expects that given the deeply held views which exist on this issue, any legislative proposals will create a regime which facilitates access to abortion services by women while also catering for medical professionals who have deeply held conscientious objections on this matter.

"IMO expects the Government to engage with the organisation on both legislative planning and practical implementation in order to ensure that proper systems and adequate resources are in place to deal with the issues arising from the Health Service in both general practice and the acute hospital setting."

This message follows the National Association of General Practitioners' call to arrange an emergency meeting on Sunday, 27 May in order to discuss the outcome of the Referendum and the impact this may have on GPs and their patients.

In its own statement, the association said it had concerns with the referendum narrative, in which it was claimed that any abortion service would be "GP-led".

Similarly to the IMO, NAGP's spokesperson stated: "Overall, the NAGP was conscious not to take a formal position on the referendum. We believed that each individual doctor had their own view and a formal position by a union would have interfered with the democratic process."

The statement later goes on to stress that "it would always be up to each individual GP to personally decide if they wished to provide any service".

Nevertheless, the NAGP say their current objective will be to discuss with the Department of Health the creation of "a respectful, safe and supportive pathway for women in crisis pregnancies".