Holles St termination wasn'...

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Holles St termination wasn't carried out under new abortion law

TodayFM
TodayFM

3:31 PM - 23 Aug 2013



The Department of Health has confirmed that an abortion procedure carried out in the National Maternity Hospital in Holles St was not carried out under the country's new abortion laws.

It was reported this morning that the termination, carried out a number of weeks ago, was the first to be administered in Ireland under the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act.

The Irish Times' report said the termination was sanctioned under Section 7 of the Act, which deals with terminations in cases where the mother's life could be put at risk by continuing the pregnancy, and where that risk can only be addressed by ending the pregnancy.

It also noted that the termination would have been sanctioned under the previous legal system, and that the mother was already miscarrying with no propsect of foetal survival.

Following inquiries by Today FM, the Department of Health said the termination was not carried out under the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, which was signed into law last month.

This is because although the law has been signed, it has not yet taken legal effect - as a written order from the Minister for Health is required to commence it.

Section 1 of the Act outlines that the provisions of the act only gain the force of law on a date determined by the Minister for Health.

The current minister, Dr James Reilly, has yet to issue any order outlining the dates on which it comes into place.

In its statement the Department said there were "operational issues which need to be addressed before it can be commenced". 

"These include the establishment of a panel of medical practitioners for the purpose of the formal medical review provisions and administrative facilities to enable the review committee, drawn from the review panel, to perform its functions."

Once the Act has been commenced, further regulations will be expected to outline the exact paperwork that doctors will have to fill out if they are to sanction a termination.

However, the termination was still legal to carry out, notwithstanding the fact that the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act has not yet been commenced.

This is because the current Irish law, as outlined in the X Case, means an abortion is permissible in cases where there is a risk to the life of the mother which can only be addressed by terminating the pregnancy.



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