An independent expert is set to be appointed to review Ireland's abortion laws three years after the landslide referendum in which the country voted in favour of repealing the eighth amendment.
The country voted by 66.4 per cent to 33.6 per cent to remove the eighth amendment of the Irish constitution, which outlawed abortion, with more than two million votes cast.
The Termination of Pregnancy Act includes a clause for a review of the legislation three years after its implementation.
Sources told The Irish Times that they are unsure if the review will lead to changes in the law but 'extensive consultations' will take place in the coming weeks.
The Department of Health confirmed that an independent expert will make a number of recommendations to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly.
The review will look at the experience women as well as service providers followed by a public consultation.
“The review is being progressed this year. At this stage it is anticipated that the review will take a three-part approach to reviewing the operation of the Act, with strands focusing on service users, service providers and a public consultation,” said a department spokeswoman.
“Research to inform the service user and service provider strands will be commissioned and carried out independently and a public consultation will be held.”
It is understood Mr Donnelly has held several meetings with clinicians, civil society groups and Oireachtas members to discuss the review.
“The Minister intends to appoint an independent expert to lead the review. Upon completion, a full report with any necessary recommendations, will be submitted to the Minister for consideration,” said the spokeswoman.
Section 7 of the Act states: “The Minister shall, not later than 3 years after the commencement of this section, carry out a review of the operation of this Act.”
A total of 6,577 abortions were carried out last year, a slight decrease on 2019.