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24th Jun 2021

Leo Varadkar confirms abortions WILL take place in new maternity hospital – despite concerns over Catholic ethos

abortions WILL take place in new maternity hospital

Former master of Holles Street, Peter Boylan, has previously expressed concerns that the new National Maternity Hospital, which is currently under construction, might run into difficulty offering procedures such as abortions, sterilisations and IVF as the land the hospital is being built on is still owned by the Religious Sisters of Charity.

The ongoing ownership of the land by a charity which will receive it as a gift from the Religious Sisters of Charity may curtail the hospital’s ability to offer such procedures, as they are contrary to Catholic teachings, Boylan said.

However, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar is firm on that abortions, IVF and other procedures contrary to Catholic ethos will be carried out in the new hospital.

Speaking on Newstalk’s On the Record programme, Varadkar was asked if the hospital will be carrying out all clinical procedures as provided by law, rather than what a religion is happy with, and said:

“Yes, absolutely”, as is currently the case in the National Maternity Hospital’s current site in Holles Street.

Despite this, Varadkar did say he has some concerns regarding the governance of the project, and the leasing of the land where the hospital is to be constructed to the State.

He said his concern on leasing related more to the fact that the land had been mortgaged to build St Vincent’s Private Hospital, and less that the ownership issue could in some way curtail the procedures to be carried out.

“We have an agreement the hospital will be publicly owned, we have an agreement that any obstetric or gynaecological procedure that’s legal in the state, including terminations of pregnancy and IVF, will be legal in the new hospital, we’re comfortable around that,” Varadkar said.

He was also keen to point out that should it be a possibility, the State is more than willing to purchase the land the new hospital is being built on.

“I think I’m now hearing that either Vincent’s or the Sisters will be willing to sell that land, and if they are, we’re willing to buy.”