Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent of The Guardian reports this evening:
Pregnant women in Ireland could be blocked from having an abortion even if they are at risk of suicide after conceiving as a result of rape or incest, under new guidelines issued to Irish doctors.
Experts warned that the Guidance Document for Health Professionals, which has yet to be made public but has been obtained by the Guardian, will give power to doctors, obstetricians and psychiatrists to prevent vulnerable women from terminating their pregnancies.
….The 108-page guide does not include provisions for an independent committee to make decisions on treating those with “suicidal intent”, which was a key demand among campaigners for reform…initial referral for women including those with “suicidal intent” begins with her own GP.
If the GP agrees, he or she will refer the woman to three doctors – including one obstetrician and two psychiatrists – who will decide whether there is a real risk to the woman’s life through suicide. If her request is rejected, she will go through an appeal system involving another two psychiatrists and another obstetrician….
(Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland)