Present protections under the 2018 abortion legislation allow medical practitioners to conscientiously object to being involved in the abortion procedure. Sligo-based Pro Life Campaign spokeswoman Sile Quinlan has urged public representatives to ensure this important provision is respected, following a recent call by Sligo Action for Reproductive Rights Access which would have negative implications for freedom of conscience.

“Medical practitioners, as trusted and well-respected pillars of the community, should not be compelled into providing abortions against their will. Recent attempts to undermine medical practitioners’ freedom of conscience on the issue of abortion is chillingly totalitarian and must be rejected. In a democratic society, an individual medical practitioners’ choice not to be involved in providing abortions should be respected.

“Since the introduction of legal abortion in 2019, it has been widely accessible across Ireland, including in rural Ireland. In the first two years of its introduction, 13,243 legal abortions were carried out in Ireland. This astonishingly high figure, which puts paid to the suggestion that abortion would be ‘rare’ in Ireland, reveals that abortion is widely accessed. Greater efforts must be made by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly to ensure that positive alternatives to abortion are promoted, such as greater supports for unplanned pregnancy and promotion of adoption.

“The Pro Life Campaign has highlighted areas where steps can be taken to limit the excess cruelty of the current abortion law, such as by providing unborn babies with pain relief medication. Efforts from pro-abortion campaigners to reverse freedom of conscience for medical practitioners would represent a huge step backwards. In reality, there is no barrier to accessing abortion. It is disappointing that abortion advocates are seeking more abortion rather than campaigning for genuine supports for women.”

Listen Back to Síle Quinlan to Niall Delaney of OceanFM about the current rollout of Abortion in Sligo here