Doctors Walk Out of Abortion Meeting


A large group of GPs walked out of an extraordinary general meeting of the Irish College of General Practitioners over the issue of conscientious objection to the provision of abortion last Sunday. The doctors left the meeting, held to discuss issues relating to the provision of abortion services as planned by the government from next month.


More than 300 doctors attended the start of the meeting in Malahide, which continued for three hours. At least fifty left the meeting after half an hour, but some doctors present claimed that up to half of those attending walked out.


The group who walked out claimed several hundred GPs have lost confidence in the board of the ICGP and that a “serious crisis now exists that the government cannot ignore regarding the rollout of GP-led abortion services” The doctors said they walked out after the board ruled out any debate or votes on motions submitted by members and replaced them with discussion topics that “sidestepped” the main issues.


About 300 GPs have said they will provide abortions from next month but hundreds more have indicated they will not and have pressured the ICGP to discuss the issue.


The ICGP expressed disappointment at the decision of some members to walk out of the meeting. “We are aware of the concerns of those with a conscientious objection to providing termination of pregnancy services, and we have successfully advocated for an “opt-in” service and for a 24-hour helpline as the first point of information for those who seek the service,” said Dr Tony Cox, medical director of the ICGP.

The Irish Times. December 2. RTÉ. December 2. The Irish Times. December 3.

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