Almost 900 medical professionals have now signed the Dublin Declaration on Maternal Health, launched in 2012 to declare that abortion is not needed to save women's lives.
Unveiled at the International Symposium on Maternal Healthcare in Dublin, Ireland, the Declaration states: “As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion – the purposeful destruction of the unborn child – is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.
“We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.
“We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.”
Signatory Dr. Eoghan de Faoite told LifeSiteNews there is a fundamental difference between life saving treatment a woman may need during pregnancy, and abortion, which is the direct and intentional taking of the life of the unborn child.
“The Dublin Declaration clarifies this quite succinctly,” he said.
He pointed out that through the Dublin Declaration, obstetricians, gynecologists, neonatologists, pediatricians and other doctors from across the specialties of medicine and surgery testify that a country does not need legalized abortion in order to preserve maternal health and reduce maternal mortality.
“Let us not underestimate the power of such a statement,” de Faoite stressed. “This is hugely important to all of us who work to protect women and children from abortion and who seek to make this cruel injustice made illegal, and unthinkable, right across the world.”
“The first step towards turning today’s society against abortion,” de Faoite continued, “is to show them that legal abortion is not needed in maternal healthcare, that is not needed to save women’s lives and that banning abortion does not bring about a rise in maternal mortality. This is the sentiment the Dublin Declaration achieves and that fact that it was born in Ireland is also significant.”
The doctor noted that Ireland and Chile have been two of the safest places in the Western Hemisphere for pregnant mothers and their unborn children, with lower maternal mortality rates than even the United States.
“Ireland’s ban on abortion wasn't just something symbolic,” he explained. “It provided proof, if ever needed, that pro-life laws do not jeopardize women's health, but rather they encourage, and oblige, medical professionals to do everything they must do to save a woman’s life in pregnancy and do everything he or she can do to also preserve the life of the baby.”
“The Dublin Declaration confirms this,” Dr. de Faoite concluded, “and it is a hugely important tool for the global pro-life community and for the growing movement of doctors who recognize that every pregnancy has two patients that need to be cared for – mother and child.”
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The International Symposium on Maternal Healthcare was organized by the Committee for Excellence in Maternal Healthcare, a group of physicians and other health care providers who are committed to achieving excellence in healthcare for mothers and babies.
The Symposium gave a unique insight into some of the issues surrounding maternal healthcare, particularly in relation to the management of high-risk pregnancies, cancer in pregnancy, premature birth and mental health, and heard from some of the leading researchers and practitioners in maternal health.
The Committee is chaired by Professor Eamon O’Dwyer, MAO, LLB, FRCPI, FRCOG. O’Dwyer is Professor Emeritus of Gynaecology and Obstetrics at the National University of Ireland, Galway.
The Committee for Excellence in Maternal Healthcare has set a goal of achieving 2,000 expert signatures for the Dublin Declaration by 2015.
Further information on the Dublin Declaration and the list of signatories is available here.