Dublin, Ireland, Jun 15, 2018 / 02:26 am
Publicly-funded hospitals in Ireland will be required to perform abortions, even if they are Catholic and morally opposed to the procedure, the nation’s prime minister announced this week.
A survey on GPBuddy.ie, an online medical directory for Irish healthcare professionals, found that nearly 70 percent of general practitioners say they are unwilling to perform abortions.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar clarified to the Dáil (Irish Parliament) on Monday that individual medical professionals will be able to opt out of performing abortions, but entire hospitals will not be able to do so, now that abortion is being legalized in the country.
“It will not, however, be possible for publicly-funded hospitals, no matter who their patron or owner is, to opt out of providing these necessary services, which will be legal in this state once this legislation is passed by the Dáil and Seanad (senate),” said Varadkar.
He went on to say that “hospitals like for example Holles Street, which is a Catholic voluntary ethos hospital, the Mater, St Vincent's and others will be required, and will be expected to, carry out any procedure that is legal in this state and that is the model we will follow.”
A “voluntary” hospital in Ireland is one supported by charitable contributions. Healthcare in Ireland is government-funded and free for citizens. Many publicly-funded hospitals have historic ties to the Catholic Church and operate under Catholic ethics.
Ireland voted last month to repeal the country’s Eighth Amendment, which recognized the rights of both mothers and their unborn babies. As a result, the government is now drafting legislation to formally legalize abortion through the 12th week of pregnancy.
Prior to the repeal of the Eighth Amendment, abortion was only available in Ireland if the mother’s health was deemed to be at risk.