Abortion is a ‘red line’ requirement for new maternity hospital, says Donnelly

There is no way that abortion and other reproductive health procedures which the Government wants at the planned new national maternity hospital could be stopped or watered down due to any religious ethos, the Minister for Health has said.

Stephen Donnelly said no religious ethos could be imposed at the planned new hospital that would impact on services under any circumstances.

“That is an absolute red line,” he said.

His comments came after the company in charge of the hospital insisted it will be subject to a new constitution to reflect what is describes as ‘international best practice’ on medical ethics in all areas including abortion.

They were reacting after former Master of the NMH, Dr Peter Boylan, told the Irish Independent there were concerns the company would “have the same core values” as the Sisters of Charity which have transferred ownership of the new hospital to a new company.

Dr Boylan said if the company was to have “the same Catholic values” as the sisters he would be concerned there would be “no guarantee at all that they will do all the procedures forbidden by Catholicism”.