Rotunda terminated six pregnancies last year to save mother's life08/01/2013 - 15:00:17
The Master of the Rotunda Maternity Hospital has said six pregnancies were terminated at the hospital last year in order to save the life of the mother.
Sam Coulter Smith was giving evidence on the first day of hearings at the Oireachtas health committee into the Government's decision to legislate for abortion.
Meanwhile the Master of the National Maternity Hospital Dr Rhona Mahony said legislating for abortion where there was a threat of suicide would not "open the floodgates" to widespread terminations.
Three abortions were carried out to save a mother's life at Holles Street last year.
And Dr Mahony told the Committee that she and her patients need to know they would not be jailed.
"Abortion in Ireland is a criminal offence which is punishable by penal servitude. That law stands today," she said.
"I need to know that I will not go to jail if in good faith I believe it is the right thing to save a woman's life to terminate her pregnancy. And I want to know, by the way, that she will not go to jail."
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