Advertisement

Government approves proposed abortion legislation including 'safe zones' around hospitals

Updated 17.00 The Government has approved the legislation which will regulate abortion services i...
Newstalk
Newstalk

15.07 10 Jul 2018


Share this article


Government approves proposed a...

Government approves proposed abortion legislation including 'safe zones' around hospitals

Newstalk
Newstalk

15.07 10 Jul 2018


Share this article


Updated 17.00

The Government has approved the legislation which will regulate abortion services in Ireland.

Health Minister Simon Harris received approval for the bill at a Cabinet meeting today.

Advertisement

While the legislation - which will need to be passed by the Oireachtas - is based on the general scheme that was published ahead of May's referendum on the Eighth Amendment, it also contains two new policies.

Under the proposed bill, termination of pregnancy will be provided 'on a universal basis' - meaning cost will not be a barrier for any woman.

It will also create safe access zones around hospitals and doctors' surgeries.

That means protests and posters will not be allowed in areas surrounding the premises where abortion services are being provided, in a bid to protect both patients and staff from intimidation and harassment.

The general scheme already laid out proposals such as abortion without restriction up until 12 weeks, and for abortion under much more limited circumstances later in pregnancy (such as in cases of fatal foetal abnormality).

Speaking this afternoon, Minister Harris said: "I had committed to bringing the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018 to Government this week and I have fulfilled that commitment.

"Although my intention was to also introduce this legislation into the Oireachtas before the summer recess that is not now possible due to ongoing court proceedings."

He added that while the bill cannot be brought before the Dáil and Seanad until the legal action is concluded, work is continuing to introduce abortion services in Ireland in January 2019.

Reaction

Both the Abortion Rights Campaign and the National Women's Council of Ireland welcomed today's announcement of universal access and 'safe zones'.

NWCI Director Orla O'Connor said: "Termination services should be publicly-funded, available through the public health system and receive appropriate funding to ensure timely access.  

"Furthermore, safe access zones outside maternity hospitals and primary care centres are necessary to protect women and their healthcare providers.”

She also said the organisation is calling for the legislation to be named Savita’s Law in memory of Savita Halappanavar.

The Pro Life Campaign criticised the proposed legislation, with the campaign's Dr Ruth Cullen saying: "Voters are learning that the Government’s plan all along was for the provision of wide-ranging abortion and not just limited abortion in keeping with how things were spun in advance of the referendum."

The Irish people voted overwhelming to repeal the Eighth Amendment and allow the Oireachtas to regulate abortion services, with more than 66% of voters backing the referendum on May 25th.


Share this article


Read more about

News

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Lunchtime Live

Lunchtime Live

12:00-14:00

Share

Up next

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on