Leading medical experts speaking at a major International Symposium on Excellence in Maternal Healthcare held in Dublin have concluded that “direct abortion is not medically necessary to save the life of a mother.”
Professor Eamon O’Dwyer, speaking for the Committee of the Symposium, said that the outcome of the conference “provided clarity and confirmation to doctors and legislators.”
Experts in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, mental health, and molecular epidemiology presented new research, and shared clinical experiences on issues surrounding maternal healthcare to the packed Symposium attended by more than 140 Irish medical professionals.
Particular attention was paid to the management of high-risk pregnancies, cancer in pregnancy, foetal anomalies, mental health and maternal mortality.
The Symposium’s conclusions were issued in the Dublin Declaration on Maternal Healthcare which states:
-As experienced practitioners and researchers in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.
-We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.
-We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.
Professor Eamon O’Dwyer said that the Symposium was timely given that the issue of abortion was one of current public debate, and that attempts were being made to confuse legitimate medical treatment with abortion.
“Irish Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have previously pointed out that treatment for conditions such as ectopic pregnancy are not considered abortion by doctors, yet misinformation in regard to this abounds in public debate. The Symposium clarifies that direct abortion is never medically necessary to save the life of a woman, and that’s good news for mothers and their babies,” said Professor O’Dwyer.
Dr Eoghan de Faoite of the organising Committee for the Symposium said that the research presented at the Symposium provided clear evidence that best practice medical care for pregnant women does not involve abortion.
“It was fascinating to learn about new therapies involving the safe delivery of chemotherapy during pregnancy and the exciting field of in-utero fetal surgery” he said. “When discussing matters of pregnancy and medicine it is vital that the voices of the real experts, those that actually care for pregnant women, be heard. This Symposium puts an end to the false argument that Ireland needs abortion to treat women, and it was encouraging to hear the international speakers commend Ireland’s high standards of maternal healthcare and low rates of maternal mortality.”
The Medical Advisor to the Life Institute, Dr. Seán Ó Domhnaill, welcomed the outcome of the Symposium. “The Dublin Declaration stating that abortion is not medically necessary was a statement of fact agreed by medical experts and reflected best medical practice in maternal healthcare”, he said. “This is a globally significant outcome, which shows abortion has no place in treating women and their unborn children.”
Rebecca Roughneen of Youth Defence said that the outcome of the Symposium affirmed the pro-life position which had long held that abortion was not medically necessary to preserve women’s lives. “Ground-breaking research and new clinical practices were presented at this hugely important Symposium, and the good news for mothers and babies is that experts agree that abortion is not necessary to save the life of a mother,” she said.