Protests outside clinics offering abortions are putting the future of the service at risk.
That's according to Dr Trish Horgan, Cork GP and provider of early medical abortions.
She was speaking as the Oireachtas Health Committee prepares to debate the introduction of Safe Access Zones outside Irish clinics.
No laws on safe zones, which would ban protests outside clinics, have been enacted in the five years since the abortion referendum.
Dr Horgan told Newstalk Breakfast this needs to happen now.
"I'm one of the GPs who began providing the service at my practice back in 2019... in the context of assurances from Government at the time that Safe Access Zone legislation would be expedited," she said.
"So in the absence of those legal protections, I think it's not surprising we've seen many examples of protests outside GP surgeries and at maternity hospitals since 2019."
'They have a right to privacy'
Dr Horgan said such protests are disrespectful to everyone.
"Those protests are distressing and disrespectful, not just to women attending for abortion services but for all our service users coming to our facilities - having to encounter inappropriate, graphic placards and white coffins and so on," she said.
"We know that women coming for abortion care, and their partners, are often stressed and distressed.
"They have a right to privacy; they're trying to navigate private life events with their partners and their doctors.
"It is incumbent now on our legislators to put in place some safeguarding, because the service remains very much stigmatised by the protests."
'Perpetuates the stigma'
She said a fear of anti-abortion protests is contributing to unequal services around the country.
"The geographic variation in terms of service availability is a concern," she said.
"These protests lay at the heart of some of the reasons why there is such a geographic spread.
"The protests actually have far-reaching effects beyond the local facility that's being targeted on that day.
"A recent review of the Irish abortion services by the WHO found that actually, fear of protest was a significant factor in terms of GPs taking up the service.
"So, it perpetuates the stigma, it contributes to provider isolation, and I think it's disproportionality impactful in rural areas where provider numbers are already low.
"The protests are actually a threat to the future of the service per se," she added.