Putting recommendations for changes to abortion legislation before Oireachtas Health Committee hearings is a delay tactic.
That is according to Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns who was reacting to a new report, which found there is a shortage of services in parts of the country.
The independent report also said the uneven spread of service providers has left some women with the significant cost of travelling long distances on public transport to receive care.
The Cabinet has agreed to refer the recommendations to the Health Committee.
Deputy Cairns told The Hard Shoulder any changes should not be delayed by hearings.
"I do think it's welcome that the Minister said, in the first instance, let's go to the Health Committee," she said.
"I think it'll be good to get [Independent Chair Marie O'Shea] in and so people can hash out some of the findings and ask questions.
"But to hear him reference today things like having hearings on the Health Committee sounds to me - or makes me feel worried - that this is a bit of a delay tactic".
Three-day waiting period
On the three-day waiting period, which the report found is not necessary, Deputy Cairns said this puts a presumption on women seeking a termination.
"What is it about forcing somebody to wait for three days for actions to happen based on their decision?" she said.
"I think there's kind of presumption there that women go to their doctor to seek a termination, but they need to think about it more.
"It's kind of a presumption that they don't really know themselves what they want to do with their bodies.
"It's very kind of patronising and paternalistic, and ultimately it's based in no evidence or science.
"It kind of has that insinuation of, 'Take three days to think about what you've done'.
"What is the purpose of the three-day waiting period? If somebody could tell me that maybe I'd think about it again.
"I've yet to hear an explanation for it," she added.
'A lot of suffering'
Deputy Cairns said the review is already thorough enough without extensive hearings.
"We have an evidence-based review here; a really comprehensive, really good study, it's been praised by the Taoiseach," she said.
"We don't need to have extensive hearings - and that could go on for ages - and then essentially we have another election, and this gets kicked down the road.
"A lot of people will have to go through a lot of suffering if we don't act on these recommendations soon.
"It seems like actually, perhaps, that's what the government is doing".
Deputy Cairns said the debate on abortion should not be opened up again.
"Our health policies untimely have to be based on evidence, on best practice, on best outcomes - not on a particular politician's feelings about a policy," she said.
"The way it's been managed is unfortunately opening up this whole debate again.
"I really don't think anyone wants to have that," she added.
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