An extraordinary general meeting of the Irish College of General Practitioners will not include votes on motions put forward by GPs concerned about the introduction of abortion services.

In October, hundreds of GPs expressed concern through an online petition, about GP-led abortion services here and requested an EGM.

The College said that the request to hold an EGM was invalid as there were "no actual signatures provided" on the petition, which it says is required procedurally.

The group of doctors who organised the petition say 640 GPs from around the country put their names to it.

However, the ICGP said only 373 names on the list that accompanied the original petition were members of the College.

The petition centres on a number of motions regarding the new abortion services and those who signed it sought to vote on and discuss them.

The first motion stated that routine general practice was not the appropriate setting in which to deliver an abortion service; the second called for an opt system for GPs; the third called on the ICGP to support the right of all doctors freedom of conscience, including no obligation to refer patients for terminations; the fourth called on the ICGP to state that those who do not choose to opt in to the service will not suffer any disadvantage to their career as trainers or practitioners.

While there will be no formal motions, the ICGP says discussion at the meeting will focus on a number of areas reflecting the concerns expressed by some members and will allow an opportunity for the Board of Directors to explain the College's position regarding the provision of termination of pregnancy services.

Discussion will include training and education for GPs in relation to the provision of services including the 24-hour helpline that patients may access directly.

GP access to ultrasound screening and secondary care referral pathways will also be debated, as will the question of conscientious objection in accordance with Medical Council Guidelines.

Training of all doctors including career progression in the context of termination of pregnancy services, irrespective of whether they opt in or not, is also on the agenda.

In a statement, the group of GPs who organised the petition described the "scrapping" of the motions by the ICGP board as "completely sidestepping the issues for the EGM sought by the GPs who called it".

Dr Andrew O'Regan said the only reason the ICGP is holding the EGM is because it was "forced into it by GPs around the country".

He described the situation as "farcical and untenable",  and accused the ICGP board of jettisoning the motions submitted by GPs on the ground into "an ineffectual talking shop where GP-led abortion services will be presented as a fait accompli".

The EGM will take place on 2 December.