This is a letter from GPC in response to a letter in last week’s Galway Independent which can be read here. The signatories of this letter included several high profile long-standing members of the catholic anti-choice campaign. The Galway Independent did not publish our response this week, however they did publish another anti-choice letter.
Galway Pro-Choice believes that the letter from Prof. Eamon O’Dwyer published in last week’s Galway Independent may have misled some readers in several significant respects.
The headline used, ‘Abortion not necessary to save a woman’s life’ is not a medical fact, it is merely the opinion of a tiny percentage of obstetricians and gynaecologists. This minority opinion is contrary to that of the World Health Organisation’s Millennium Development Goal Number 5. The WHO believes that access to safe and legal abortion for women is an important factor in reducing the number of deaths during pregnancy. In fact, unsafe illegal abortion is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide. Galway Pro-Choice sees no rational reason why women in Ireland should be denied access to a necessary medical procedure.
The letter was also accompanied by 22 signatories of a document called the Dublin Declaration on Maternal Healthcare, September 2012. This declaration is the only medical document in history to ever express the opinion that abortion is never necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman. Most of these signatories are also members of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, one of the world’s leading professional bodies in this field. The Royal College has over 12,500 registered members; 22 is a very tiny percentage of 12,500. Evidently, over 99% of Prof. O’Dwyer’s colleagues do not agree with the declaration. We will leave it to the reader to judge whether it is significant that only three of these 22 signatories are women.