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Irish doctor campaigns for conscience rights: Govt cannot ‘bully’ physicians into doing abortions

Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy

DUBLIN, Ireland, July 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― A senior Irish obstetrician-gynecologist will call for conscience rights for his fellow Irish doctors when he addresses the All-Ireland Rally for Life this Saturday.

According to Ireland’s The Life Institute, Dr. Trevor Hayes will tell the pro-life witnesses “that politicians cannot and will not bully doctors into performing or facilitating abortions.”

Hayes believes that Taoiseach Leo Varadkhar’s pro-abortion government is attempting to violate the rights of medical professionals who conscientiously object to taking part in abortions.

“This is a form of bullying that is absolutely unacceptable because a person’s conscience is not subject to majority rule,” he said. 

Ireland was once the safest place in Europe for unborn babies. However, after the 2018 referendum on removing the Eighth Amendment from the Irish Constitution, unborn children lost their right to life in the Republic. The referendum was swiftly followed by a law allowing abortion on demand.

Northern Ireland still has laws that forbid abortion except when deemed necessary to save the life or the health of the unborn child’s mother.

A medical veteran of over 20 years of practice, Hayes believes the Irish health system is suffering from a lack of personnel, which makes the governmental bullying of conscientious objectors “particularly appalling.”

“We have a huge crisis in the health service, and that crisis is especially acute in staffing, so it is particularly appalling that staff in both nursing and medicine feel that they will be forced out of medicine because their right not to participate in abortion is not being respected,” Hayes stated.

The OB-GYN said the issue is simply being ignored and suggested those most loudly demanding that pro-life doctors violate their consciences would never bloody their own hands with the grisly procedure.

“A great many of my colleagues are unwilling to perform surgical abortions, and they say they will not be forced to carry out this life-ending procedure,” Hayes said 

“Would the politicians who so vehemently insist that we must perform abortions be willing to carry out one themselves?” he asked rhetorically. 

“Would the GPs who are attacking pro-life obstetricians on Twitter perform a late-term surgical abortion? I suspect they would not, so why are they trying to force other people to be involved in something so repugnant to those of us who adhere to the first principle of medicine which is to ‘Do No Harm?’” 

Hayes explained that while doctors have no objection to providing life-saving medical treatment to pregnant women, abortion is life-ending, not life-saving.

"It's not healthcare, and no amount of spin can make it healthcare," he said.  

In The Life Institute’s press release, the pro-life doctor also contrasted pro-abortion Health Minister Simon Harris’ eagerness to force Irish hospitals to commit abortions to his apathy regarding the crisis rocking the national health system.

“Our health minister, Simon Harris, recently enthusiastically tweeted that he was “On it,” when abortion campaigners complained that St. Luke’s Hospital was not carrying out elective terminations in Kilkenny,” Hayes said.  

“Almost every doctor in the country would agree that we wish Minister Harris had the same enthusiasm and drive in addressing the serious, life-threatening crisis that has developed in the health service on his watch,” he continued.

Hayes is one of four consultant obstetricians at St. Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny who wrote to local doctors and hospital group administrator to say abortions would not not be committed in their workplace. 

According to their letter, the four doctors “decided unanimously that the hospital is not an appropriate location for medical or surgical terminations.”  

The consultants also said it was “also adjudged that, in the event of professional and values training of staff willing to participate in such procedures, the hospital remains an unsuitable location for these services.”

The All-Ireland Rally for Life, which alternates between Belfast and Dublin, will take place in Dublin this year. The crowds of pro-life witnesses, which last year in Belfast numbered in the tens of thousands, will meet at 2 p.m. at Parnell Square. They will then march to Custom House Quay to hear speeches by Hayes and other pro-lifers. 

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