Abortion review to recommend extensive changes to existing law

Ten legislative and 60 operational changes are contained within the report carried out by Barrister Marie O'Shea.
Abortion review to recommend extensive changes to existing law

Extensive changes to abortion laws in the Republic are expected following a major review of current legislation.

The report carried out by Barrister Marie O'Shea examines the effectiveness of the State's current abortion regime, and has made 70 legal and operational recommendations.

According to The Irish Times, the review recommends a change to the current three-day waiting period for access to termination medication, which would instead be made optional.

Niall Behan of the Irish Family Planning Association described the current wait-time as "unnecessary" and "burdensome".

However the Irish Pro-Life Campaign Manager Eilís Mulroy said many will have issues with any potential changes to the "three-day reflection period".

A number of politicians have called for the removal of the waiting period, including People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith, Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns and Labour leader Ivana Bacik.

Aontú, however, has said women should wait five days to get access to termination medication.

Other recommendations in the review include change to the laws surrounding termination in cases of fatal foetal abnormality.

The review also calls for an end to the criminalisation of doctors that carry out abortions outside the specific circumstances allowed for by law.

The report will be presented to Cabinet by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly on Tuesday.

It will also be referred onwards to the Oireachtas Committee on Health for further consideration.

The report, along with Mr Donnelly’s recommendations to the Cabinet, are set to reignite the political debate around abortion access in Ireland.

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