Up to 50 GPs walk out of meeting over concerns about new abortion legislation

UP to fifty GPs walked out of a special meeting of the country’s family doctors this afternoon, saying their voices were not heard on the rollout of new legislation extending the grounds for termination of pregnancy.

The walkout happened at an extraordinary general meeting of the Irish College of General Practitioners, the professional and training body, in Dublin this afternoon.

It is still underway in private session.

Over 300 GPs who object to having to refer a female patient seeking an abortion to another colleague, along with other concerns, had called for the meeting.

The meeting, which is being held in Malahide, is being attended by a large gathering of GPs from around the country.

Under the proposed new law, GPs will be able to provide medical abortions up to nine weeks of pregnancy.

The ICGP has said no doctor will be forced to deliver the service and can opt-out.

A 24/7 phone line is set to be made available to women to provide counselling, as well as direction to the nearest participating GP.

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Health Minister Simon Harris said today he believes there will be enough doctors to deliver the service.

He said while the law on abortion is changing the obligation to refer a patient to another colleague providing the service remains.

“No doctor, no nurse or no midwife will be made or forced to provide a service the conscientiously object to but equally no woman in the country will be left without access to healthcare that will be legal.”

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