Questions on the introduction of Abortion Services

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Health, Human Rights, Parliamentary Questions, Women's Rights

To ask the Minister for Health his views on the operation of a three day waiting period for women that will seek abortion services in view of a discrepancy between his previous statements and that of the chief medical officer – Clare Daly T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 15 January, 2019.

REPLY

As the Deputies are aware, Section 12 of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 provides that a termination of pregnancy may be provided after a period of not less than three days has elapsed from the date on which a medical practitioner has certified that the pregnancy concerned has not exceeded 12 weeks of pregnancy.

My Department provided written clarification on the operation of this section of the legislation to the HSE in December, ahead of the service for termination of pregnancy commencing on 1 January 2019.

In practice, under section 12 of the Act, the day on which the doctor certifies that the pregnancy has not exceeded 12 weeks counts as the first day. The termination may then be carried out after the third day has “elapsed”. For example, if the woman visits the doctor and the doctor certifies that the pregnancy has not exceeded 12 weeks on a Monday, then Monday counts as the first day. Tuesday and Wednesday are the second and third day. Once Wednesday has “elapsed” the termination may take place, so it may be carried out at any time on Thursday.

To ask the Minister for Health the steps he will take to prevent rogue pregnancy agencies from misleading the public with regard to the HSE My Options website; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY

As the Deputy’s question concerns a service issue, it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

To ask the Minister for Health if the crisis pregnancy helpline will be accessible to deaf women; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY

As the Deputy’s question concerns a service issue, it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.