A postal survey was sent to 500 GPs in Ireland. An internet-based survey was sent to 244 GPRs.
Quantitative and qualitative analysis was performed. Results: Overall response was 44%.
Four groups of doctor's opinions could be identified: (A) abortion can never be allowed (10%);
(B) abortion can be allowed in limited circumstances (25%);
(C) abortion should be available to all women (51%); and
(D) no definite opinion (14%).
Doctors in groups (A) and (B) were older and more often Catholic. Of doctors in group (C), 66% indicated an upper gestational limit of maximum 16 weeks.
More than 40% of all respondents had at least one consultation specifically dealing with ToP within the past six months and 43% agreed with the statement that women's health suffers due to the travel related to ToP.
Conclusion: Most responding GPs and GPRs (75%) support the provision of ToP in Ireland in certain circumstances. [NOTE: They don't say which!]
The qualitative analysis of this survey showed that the terms pro-life and pro-choice inappropriately describe the spectrum of opinions. This study highlights clinical situations in which women's health may be adversely affected due to the requirement to travel for ToP.
Eur J Gen Pract. 2012 Sep;18(3):136-42.
Termination of pregnancy: Attitudes and clinical experiences of Irish GPs and GPs-in-training.
Murphy M, Vellinga A, Walkin S, Macdermott M.
Sligo GP Training Scheme, Sligo General Hospital , Sligo , Ireland.