The Life Institute has said that the government must listen to evidence from British abortion providers who have said that doctors routinely bend the mental health clause in the British Abortion Act to allow women to have abortions.
As revealed in the BBC's Panorama programme, Ann Furedi, the chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, has admitted that British doctors actively “pretend” that women's mental health is at risk so that they can sign off abortions without questions being asked.
Furedi told Panorama that the law had made “actors” of doctor and patient, suggesting that the law should now be diluted to make abortion simply a matter of 'choice'.
Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute said that the Irish Government was "now obliged to look long and hard at the evidence of what was happening in Britain".
"We have a situation where Fine Gael, despite the expert evidence heard at the recent Oireachtas hearings, are being bullied by Labour into proposing that abortion should be legalised on suicide grounds," she said.
"Fine Gael is obliged to look at the stark evidence of what is happening in Britain and to stand with the pro-life majority on this issue."
"At the recent Oireachtas Committee hearings, all the medical experts agreed that abortion was not a treatment for suicidality. Why then, is Fine Gael insisting on pressing ahead with the folly of legalising abortion on suicide grounds?"
Abortion is a medieval solution to a crisis pregnancy and has no place in modern medicine," added the Life Institute spokeswoman.
The Panorama programme also heard from Professor Clare Gerada, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, who confirmed that the mental health risk is not objectively tested. “What we have is what the woman tells us,” she says. “It isn’t for me to judge her or be moralistic. It’s for me to explore potential other options but to take her at face value.”
"More than 20% of all pregnancies now end in abortion in Britain, with the latest available figures showing that 98 per cent are on the grounds that the continuation of the pregnancy would carry a risk to the woman’s mental health," said Ms Uí Bhriain. "The so-called restriction has been horribly abused, and now, not only are abortion providers admitting this, they are using that situation to call for more liberal abortion laws."
While the British Abortion Act requires that two doctors are required to sign an authorisation, a recent investigation by the Telegraph showed that hospitals and clinics were getting round this by using batches of photocopied certificates pre-signed by doctors, causing the British Care Quality Commission to censure 14 hospitals for carrying out what have been described as 'potentially illegal' abortions.
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