Monday, September 10, 2012


AN INTERNATIONAL symposium on maternal healthcare attended by up to 140 health professionals on Saturday December 8th in Dublin issued an important declaration to be known as “the Dublin Declaration” which confirms that abortion is never medically necessary to save the life of a mother.

The symposium was organised by the Committee for Excellence in Maternal Healthcare, chaired by Professor Eamon O’Dwyer, professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynaecology at NUI Galway who said the outcome of the symposium would provide “clarity and confirmation” to doctors and legislators dealing with these issues.

Other members of the committee include Dr John Monaghan, Dr John Greene and palliative care nurse specialist Sinéad Dennehy.

The full text of the declaration is as follows


“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 also 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.