Irish panel of appointees recommends compulsory referral for abortion

In a long-awaited report, a panel appointed by the Irish government to study the operation of the abortion law in Ireland has stated the government is obliged to provide guidelines that establish how women in Ireland can obtain abortions consistent with Irish law.  It recommends that a physician who objects to abortion for reasons of conscience should be forced to facilitate the procedure by referring a patient to a willing colleague, and to provide an abortion “when the risk of death is imminent and inevitable.”  The report is not clear on the extent to which conscientious objection might be allowed to other health care workers.  [Report, p. 42, 6.9]

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