Abortion Legislation Introduced in Dáil
Legislation to allow abortion has been introduced in the Dáil following the repeal of the Eighth Amendment. Health Minister Simon Harris, introducing the bill, said that TDs would make history by beginning the process of legislating for abortion services.
The bill outlines the legal framework for when abortions can be provided, including at any point up to 12 weeks of pregnancy at the woman’s request. It is intended that abortions will be performed by GPs up to nine weeks of pregnancy, while any women presenting later will be referred to obstetricians in hospitals. Work is at an “advanced stage” to draw up a contract for medics to provide the service, Mr Harris said.
The legislation also allows for a three day pause period which Mr Harris said is in place in several countries.
Fianna Fáil TDs seeking to table amendments to the legislation will first have to submit them to the party’s health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly. The move is viewed by some in the party as an attempt to quell internal opposition to the legislation. However, the party’s TDs will be able to express their views on the legislation and will also be allowed to support amendments tabled by TDs from outside the party. Party Leader Micheál Martin strongly supported repealing the Eighth Amendment but almost half of the party’s TDs voted against holding a referendum on the issue.
RTÉ. October 2. Irish Independent. October 4.