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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 21 February, 2020

Some GPs are 'outraged' that they're being expected to lead abortion services

The government wants terminations to be a ‘GP-led’ service.

Image: Shutterstock/Aleksandra Duda

AN ASSOCIATION WHICH represents some 2000 GPs says its members are “outraged” that they will be expected to be the main contact for women to secure terminations under the government’s planned legislation.

The Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment recommended that unrestricted abortion should be available up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and felt this should be achieved “through a GP-led service”.

This is the approach the government is planning to take under legislation being prepared by Health Minister Simon Harris.

But in statement this evening, the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGB) said this is being done “without consultation” and the it is seeking “immediate engagement”with the minister.

“I was alarmed to hear the minister’s comments and presumption that the State would direct GPs to lead an abortion service without any engagement with our members to discuss the implications of this notion,” NAGP president Dr Emmet Kerin said this evening.

For the minister to suggest that our profession should lead out an abortion service without consultation with our member GPs is an affront to our profession and could pose yet another strain on the provision of general practice healthcare services.

The involvement of GPs in early-stage pregnancy was discussed at the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment

The Irish College of General Practitioners gave evidence before the committee and outlined that for the majority of pregnant women, antenatal care and support before 20 weeks’ gestation is provided by GPs alone.

“When a pregnancy is unwanted, Irish GPs support and provide evidence-based care for women through this difficult experience,” ICGP’s Dr Brendan O’Shea told the committee. has sought comment form the Department of Health on the NAGPs comments.

Read: Amnesty boss says watchdog’s grant decision could prove ‘catastrophic’ >

Read: Coveney: ‘I don’t believe there should be unrestricted access to abortion at any point in time’ >

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Rónán Duffy

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