Government not putting review of abortion law on ‘long finger’, Dáil told

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The Government is not putting a reappraisal into the State’s termination instrumentality connected the “long finger”, Tánaiste Micheál Martin has said.

Mr Martin said the “immediate priority” indispensable beryllium to grow the availability of termination services successful hospitals and tackling the “uneven geographic spread” of GPs providing services.

Speaking successful the Dáil connected Thursday, the Tánaiste besides said his knowing was that the fig of maternity hospitals presently providing termination services, 11 retired of 19 successful the country, would summation importantly by the autumn.

A study from barrister Marie O’Shea recommended sweeping changes including the removal of the three-day reflection play for women seeking abortion, the decriminalisation of doctors who neglect to adhere to existent authorities and imaginable changes to the granting of abortions successful the lawsuit of fatal foetal abnormalities.

People Before Profit tabled a Bill successful the Dáil connected Thursday evening to springiness effect to galore of the recommendations, but the Government tabled a one-year timed amendment connected it, efficaciously stalling its advancement done the Oireachtas for 12 months. A Dáil ballot connected the amendment volition instrumentality spot adjacent week.

People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith said much than 200 radical a twelvemonth were inactive forced to question to entree termination services, with “many more” taking termination pills illegally, without due aesculapian supervision.

Ms Smith said it didn’t marque consciousness for a reappraisal to beryllium commissioned and past “not look astatine it”.

“You’re attempting to footwear for touch, to springiness screen to those successful the Cabinet and those successful the parties crossed the House who bash not privation to interaction this issue, who ne'er wanted to interaction it, but were dragged kicking and screaming by a wide question from below,” she told the Tánaiste.

Mr Martin said the study was being referred to the Oireachtas wellness committee and the legislative aspects of it needed examination.

The Fianna Fáil person said the important operational recommendations made were present being progressed by the Health Service Executive.

“The issues successful the study itself merit significant, substantive and informed information by the Oireachtas earlier legislative proposals are contemplated. I deliberation that’s fair. I deliberation it’s successful enactment with however we handled this contented anterior to it going to the [2018 repeal] referendum itself,” helium said.

“In my view, the contiguous precedence indispensable beryllium to grow the availability of termination services successful hospitals and past the uneven geographic dispersed of GPs providing the service.”

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the projected legislative changes required “careful information and cautious discussion”.

Mr Donnelly said the Oireachtas wellness committee was an due forum to see the recommendations. The Fianna Fáil TD said helium hoped that 17 retired of 19 maternity hospitals would supply termination services by the extremity of the year.

Sinn Féin’s wellness spokesperson David Cullinane said the report’s recommendations “stand connected their ain 2 feet” and it was for the Government to determine whether oregon not they would instrumentality the changes.

“We cannot footwear the tin down the roadworthy and expect the Oireachtas wellness committee to repetition a process which has already happened,” helium said.

“I judge that would undermine the enactment of the autarkic reappraisal which has already been done ... Different groups and antithetic parties volition person their views connected each of the antithetic argumentation and legislative recommendations, arsenic my enactment does. But yet close now, it is for Government to enactment and they should act.”

Aontú person Peadar Tóibín said the reappraisal “shocked astir radical successful society” and was “devoid” of humanity and compassion.

“In galore ways, the reappraisal reads similar a checklist for termination campaigners, and evidently has been welcomed wholeheartedly successful this enclosure by pro-abortion governmental parties,” helium said.

Labour person Ivana Bacik said it was “disturbing to see” that lone 11 retired of 19 maternity hospitals were providing termination services, which was “a existent shortfall”.

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