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A survey of attitudes to abortion law in Northern Ireland amongst obstetricians, gynaecologists and family planning doctors
  1. Gillian Black, MB BCh, BAO, MRCOG, Specialist Registrar Obstetrics and Gynaecology1,
  2. Alyson Hunter, MB BCh, BAO, MRCOG, Clinical Lecturer2 and
  3. Noel Heasley, MD, FRCOG, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist3
  1. James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough
  2. Clinical Lecturer, Saint Michael's Hospital, Bristol
  3. Craigavon Area Hospital, Portadown
  1. Correspondence Dr Gillian Black, SpR Obstetrics and Gynaecology, James Cook University Hospital (South Cleveland), Marton Road, Middlesbrough, TS4 3BW, UK

Abstract

Context The Abortion Law in Northern Ireland - professional attitudes to change.

Objective To elicit the attitudes of doctors in Northern Ireland, practicing obstetrics and gynaecology or family planning.

Method Questionnaires (n = 155) were sent to all grades of doctors working in obstetrics and gynaecology or family planning in Northern Ireland during 1996.

Results One hundred and two (65.8%) of the questionnaires were returned. The majority of doctors believed that abortion should be legalised and a service provided. There was no consensus on how this should be achieved. Fifty percent of family planning doctors supported importing the British Abortion Law, but the majority of hospital doctors favoured a new law specific to Northern Ireland. Over 90% were in favour of providing medical abortions in certain circumstances. There was no agreement on who should be responsible for the service.

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  • Accepted August 4, 2001.

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