Nurses Group Raise Concerns Over Abortion Abstentions.
THOMAS O'MAHONY A GROUP REPRESENTING nurses and midwives who have expressed their concerns over the protection of healthcare workers conscientious objection to assisting in abortion procedures have held a press conference in Dublin.
The group, titled Nurses And Midwives 4 Life, organised an online petition in the past month which has gathered over 350 signatures. They outlined their concerns over confidence in care and job security for those who are opposed to the participation in the referral of and assistance in abortion procedures.
Representatives for the group Fiona McHugh, Margaret McGovern and Mary E. Fitzgibbon highlighted the recent case of Scottish nurses Mary Doogan and Connie Wood, who were forced to quit their positions after they refused to assist in termination procedures.
Ms. Fitzgibbon, who is a nursing lecturer in nursing at IT Tralee, stated that as healthcare professionals, they have “a conscientious duty of care to uphold” and that includes a “valid and reasonable protection of life”.
She goes on to state that these fears among nurses and midwives are an “the elephant in the room’.
This is in contrast to the INMO statement released on the 20th of November 2018 regarding the protection of their members in conjunction with the HSE, stating they are “working to ensure that the policy makes provision for non-penalisation for employees whether or not they exercise a conscientious objection” Fiona McHugh, PRO for the group and Clinical Paediatric Nurse Specialist stated concerns over the safety of the procedures, specifically the toxicity of the chemicals used during terminations.
The group was also supported by the presence of Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae. Mr Healy-Rae stated his support for the group’s efforts and repudiated recent claims that pro-life supporters were intentionally trying to delay the official legislation for abortion stating “what’s our role as legislators if we cannot question, and that’s all we were doing”.
Currently the group has not received any reply from Department of Health Minister Simon Harris.