This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Should nurses perform abortions?

Written by: | Published:

The upcoming referendum in Ireland has focussed attention on abortion, and the care of women undergoing the procedure

Abortion has returned to the spotlight as the historic referendum to end its ban in Ireland draws nearer. Aired on 27 April, the first television debate saw Dr Peter Boylan, former chair of the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists, detail his argument to repeal the eighth amendment to Ireland’s constitution:

‘The reality is that in every country around the world women will seek abortion, no matter what supports are available for them […] So if you are in favour of restricting abortion and not repealing the 8th you’re actually in favour of allowing illegal abortion in this country. So you’re either in favour of legal abortion or illegal abortion.’

‘We know illegal abortion or backstreet abortion is unsafe, that’s why the English law was changed all those years ago.’

While the law is very unlikely to change in the UK, abortion practices are still subject to constant scrutiny on this side of the Irish sea. The progress of pharmaceuticals, technology and professional development constantly push at the parameters of what is medically, legally and ethically possible. Therefore, with regards to healthcare, it is vital for nurses to know where they stand.

Please login or register to read the rest of the article and to have access to downloads and comments.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.