Friday 11 January 2013

Abortion letter in Irish Times

Good letter in the Irish Times today from a former gynacecologist responding to the "I've never been so insulted..." reaction of doctors/women/senators at the notion that women might pretend to be suicidal to obtain an abortion.  He makes the obvious point that abortion clinics will only employ doctors and psychiatrists who support abortion.


Co Donegal.

A chara, – As an ex-gynaecologist who has worked in both Ireland and Britain, I am naturally interested in the ongoing debate about legislation for abortion in Ireland. The big question seems to be whether legislating for abortion in Ireland will lead to “abortion on demand”. I refer to the reported interviews by the Seanad committee (Home News, January 9th).

Dr Rhona Mahony, Master of the Rotunda, said that she was offended by the suggestion that women would attempt to manipulate their doctors on the basis of fabricated ideas of suicidal ideation or intention in order to obtain terminations. She was supported by Senator John Crown, who is also a doctor.

But there would be no question of “manipulation”; women wanting an abortion would know that all they would have to do was utter the phrase “suicidal thoughts” and an abortion would at once be granted in the private clinics set up to cope with the demand.

So these women, rather than lying to or manipulating their doctors, would just be going through a tedious, but required ritual.

If a psychiatrist had to certify that the suicidal ideation is genuine, then the clinics would simply employ one who is strongly pro-abortion and would automatically co-operate. The vast majority of psychiatrists who would not agree would be excluded from the decision-making process. That is what would happen in the real world.

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