Last week, we launched an externship programme for Irish medical students to come to one of our clinics in London so that they can gain experience of abortion care
After decades of stalling, the Irish government is currently considering legislating to allow abortion in cases where the mother’s life is at risk. Regardless of whether or not the government allows this change, it will be of no help to the thousands of Irish women who are forced to travel to England to terminate a pregnancy that they feel unable to cope with. And this legislation will do nothing to help those women who are considering an abortion after hearing the devastating and heartbreaking news that there is something wrong with a much wanted pregnancy.
We know that many doctors in Ireland do support abortion rights, and recent events show that doctors may be called upon to provide abortion in an emergency. We also know that doctors in Ireland may well see women who are considering abortion and will want to be able to provide their patient with accurate advice and information. We hope this programme provides the next generation of doctors in Ireland with the opportunity to learn more about abortion care, an important aspect of medical training which they cannot currently receive at home.
Every day at bpas we see women from Ireland and witness the emotional and financial hardship that the abortion ban inflicts on them. We look forward to a time when the Irish government does not deny Irish women a fundamental health service and allows them to make decisions about their families, their lives and their futures.