A group of GPs from across Donegal have this week shared their personal views in an appeal to retain the Eighth Amendment.

Nineteen local GPs in the anti-abortion group have spoken out about how the eighth affects their duty of care to their patients – both mother and baby. The doctors say they already offer compassion to women in crisis pregnancies and strive to care for all pregnant women.

The statement, signed by 19 medics, says that abortion is not a solution – ‘no matter how difficult the situation’. They believe that a repeal of the eighth amendment contravenes their duties, and that a better solution can be found for women and babies.

The following is the statement in full from the nineteen doctors whose names appear at the bottom of the statement.

On May 25th, the people of Ireland will be asked to vote on whether to repeal the eighth amendment from our constitution or not.

As doctors, we have a duty of care to our patients. When a pregnant woman presents to us, our duty of care is to two patients, both the mother and her unborn baby.

In Ireland, we are privileged and enabled to provide this care within a medical culture that values all human life and affords dignity and respect to all, regardless of age, sex, race or circumstance.

Both the Eighth amendment and the medical council guidelines are clear; in all circumstances every necessary medical treatment must be given to protect the life of the mother, even if this unintentionally compromises the life of the baby, while as far as practicable attempting to save the baby’s life.

In all circumstances we offer support and strive to deliver the highest standard of medical care to all pregnant women. We offer real compassion and support to women in crisis pregnancies and to those who have been hurt by abortion. We will continue to do so, regardless of the outcome of the referendum.

If the eighth amendment is repealed, all constitutional protection will be taken away from all babies up to birth. Our politicians will then be given the power to introduce legislation, as they see fit, governing abortion in this country. They propose the introduction of unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks and abortion of healthy babies up to 24 weeks (viability) on similar health grounds to the British model of abortion. 97% of all abortions in England and Wales are carried out on unspecified mental health grounds, which in practice amounts to abortion on demand. The proposed legislation will also allow for abortion, up to birth, of babies diagnosed with life-limiting conditions.

If the eighth amendment is repealed, the Irish people will never again have a say in this issue.

We are being asked to remove the most basic of all human rights from our most innocent and voiceless little patients by intentionally ending their lives. Abortion is not a solution no matter how difficult the situation. It is irreversible and final. It reduces a mother’s options and limits her choice.

We know from the many women who have been hurt by abortion and who have spoken about their experience, that abortion may have far-reaching psychological, social and emotional consequences. For doctors, abortion contravenes our duty to “first do no harm” and undermines the relationship between a doctor and patient. The vast majority of abortions worldwide end the lives of healthy babies of healthy mothers.

We can do better for women, for babies and for families. But this cannot be achieved by voting away the only right an unborn baby has, the right to life. That is why we will be voting NO.

Dr. Murrough Birmingham
Dr. Kevin Boner
Dr. Sarah Brennan
Dr. Brian Callaghan
Dr. Micheal Cooke
Dr. Anthony Delap
Dr. Anne Doherty Callaghan
Dr. Marie Drumgoole
Dr. Emma Gallagher
Dr. Margaret Gilligan
Dr. Beverly Huss
Dr. Chris King
Dr. Ken Mulpeter
Dr. Brian McColgan
Dr. Colette McGrory
Dr. Marie Therese McKenna
Dr. Maureen O Carroll
Dr. Bernadette Power
Dr. Dara Scally