Life and health cannot be separated when legislating for abortion
5 Mar 2013
To mark International Women’s Day, a joint seminar co-hosted by the National Women’s Council of Ireland and Doctors for Choice will today give voice to the majority of doctors in Ireland who support a pro-choice position.
Speaking on the occasion of the seminar “Abortion – the lives and health of women in Ireland” Orla O’Connor, Director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland said,
“We need to place a woman’s right to reproductive autonomy at the heart of all procedures and services in the forthcoming legislation. As a nation we must respect the rights of all women to manage their own fertility and reproductive outcomes, with doctors and nurses providing expert advice and care without fear of criminal sanction.”
Marge Berer, Editor, Reproductive Health Matters said:
“After Savita’s death, assumptions about Catholic-run pregnancy and maternity care being safe for women can no longer be taken for granted. Instead, I believe Catholic health policy and practice – in particular on emergency obstetric care – have to be investigated.”
Dr Mary Favier, Doctors for Choice said,
“Abortion is the most common gynaecological procedure that an Irish woman is likely to have. As many as 1 in 10 Irish women of reproductive age have had an abortion and thousands travel abroad every year to access abortion services. Yet where are the voices of these women? If any medical person is to hear the stories of these women it will be GPs. If we want to get this legislation right, GPs need to play a central part in the debate as they provide the majority of pre- and post abortion medical care.”
Dr Peadar O'Grady, Doctors for Choice said,
"International research shows an increased risk of suicide for pregnant women and adolescents where access to abortion services is restricted. This means that where a woman gives informed consent to have an abortion in a situation of unwanted pregnancy, restricting access to abortion raises their risk of suicide. Delayed access also leads to later abortions with a higher rate of surgical rather than medical abortions and a higher rate of avoidable complications and stress.“
Speakers will also include Dr Mark Murphy who will give the GP perspective and explore whether health has become lost in the abortion debate.
The seminar will be chaired by Orla O’Connor, Director, National Women’s Council of Ireland
What: “Abortion – the lives and health of women in Ireland” half day seminar
Where: NWCI, 4th Floor, 2-3 Parnell Square West, Dublin 1 (opposite Gate theatre)
When: 5 March 2013, 11 am – 1.00pm, registration at 10:30 am
For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Communications Officer, National Women’s Council of Ireland, Tel. 085 858 9104 or Richie Keane, Doctors for Choice, Tel. 086 360 2224.