Abortion case: Bishop asks whether there was 'good, medical reason' for early termination

Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran

A Catholic Bishop has questioned why the baby of a woman who had requested a termination of the pregnancy was delivered at 24 weeks by C-section.

The woman had applied for an abortion under the new Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act.

An expert panel agreed she was suicidal, but an abortion was not granted as the pregnancy was beyond 23 weeks. The baby was then delivered by C-section.

Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran said the outcome of the case was better than the life of the child being lost through abortion, but questioned the decision to deliver the baby early.

"The normal period of pregnancy is somewhere in or around 38 to 40 weeks, and there's very good reasons for that," he said. "To terminate the pregnancy at 24 weeks places the child more seriously at risk.

"The question which has not been satisfactorily resolved as far as I'm concerned is whether there's any good, medical reason for that."

Fr Doran previously resigned from the board of Dublin’s Mater Hospital after the Catholic-run institution agreed to comply with the Government’s new abortion law.

At the time he said: "The deliberate taking of human life is not medical treatment, however, and is contrary to Catholic teaching which values each human life equally.

"Without prejudice to what might or might not actually happen in any hospital in the future, I could not, in conscience, support a statement which indicates without qualification a willingness to comply with the law as provided for in the act."

Speaking in October 2013 to the Irish Examiner, Fr Droan said it was “my decision completely” to resign.

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