The Submission from the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on Abortion (2001) brought much needed clarity to the abortion debate by making a clear distinction between necessary medical treatments in pregnancy and direct and intentional abortion.
The second paragraph of the Submission reads:
In current obstetrical practice rare complications can arise where therapeutic intervention is required at a stage in pregnancy when there will be little or no prospect for the survival of the baby, due to extreme immaturity. In these exceptional situations failure to intervene may result in the death of both mother and baby. We consider that there is a fundamental difference between abortion carried out with the intention of taking the life of the baby, for example for social reasons, and the unavoidable death of the baby resulting from essential treatment to protect the life of the mother.