The Irish Times
(Letters to the editor)
Sir, – Thomas Ryan (April 5th) claims that “Once the so-called “right to choose” is placed on legal footing, it is quickly transformed into the right to force people to pay for abortions and force medical professionals to perform them”. . . .
The right to conscientious objection has been enjoyed by Irish medics, healthcare professionals, and pharmacists for many years. . . but doctors and pharmacists have always had the right to refuse to prescribe or dispense contraception and emergency contraception.
. . . The general scheme of the proposed post-repeal law explicitly protects individuals’ right to conscientiously abstain from direct provision of abortion care.
Mr Ryan appears to object to the continuing obligation to refer a patient to another health care professional . . . Any other approach would privilege the right of a medic in a way that abandons and does harm to the pregnant person. No system could realistically countenance so unbalanced an approach, and it is difficult to understand how one’s conscience could demand it. . . .[Full text]