Review of Irish abortion services to be seen by Cabinet in coming weeks
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said the abortion review is "about improving access to services".
The Cabinet is set to receive a review of Ireland's abortion services in the coming weeks, before it is sent on the the Oireachtas Health Committee.
The news was delivered by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly today on RTE's News at One, who said that the review focused on "the parts of the services that are working, the parts of the services where access for women is not where it needs to be and the parts of the service where supports for clinicians can get better".
Following the Irish electorate's passing of the 2018 abortion referendum, the legislation which provided for termination services stipulated that an initial review had to be held three years into its implementation.
This current review which is set to be brought before Cabinet later this month, was started by Donnelly himself back in 2021 alongside a public consultation.
Speaking more on the review process, the Minister for Health stated that;
"Ultimately the review is about improving access to services for women. That's what we're focused on. I'll be bringing it to Cabinet in the coming weeks. We'll then publish it and I'm minded then to get the view of the Oireachtas Health Committee on it as well".
Earlier this week, researcher and sociologist Dr. Deirdre Duffy, who contributed to the report, expressed her belief that the abortion system within the state was on the verge of collapse given the number of women accessing GPs and consultants for terminations.
Responding to those claims, Mr. Donnelly said that Dr. Duffy was "not correct at all" and that the "vast majority" of women who access abortion services "have their needs met in primary care".
Recently, the legislation around abortion in Ireland has drawn criticism for not adequately meeting the needs of women who require terminations due to fatal foetal abnormalities.
Many politicians and pro-abortion campaigners have also called for the removal of the mandatory three-day wait prior to receiving abortion services.
At present, less than 10% of GPs are providing abortion services to patients.
Given this dearth of doctors who provide terminations, many women have had to endure lengthy trips to other parts of the country to gain access to the services.
There has also been a push amongst campaigners in recent times regarding the 'safe access zone' legislation, which would see a ban on protesting within 100 metres of a facility which provides abortion services.
Despite plans to legislate these zones being approved by Cabinet in July of last year, there has yet to be any progress or timescale offered on its implementation.
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