• The Government will reveal a policy paper this morning outlining what they want the laws on abortion to be, if the 8th amendment is repealed.

    Cabinet approved a referendum bill yesterday and the Dáil will begin debating it this morning.

    Simon Harris will get up in the Dáil at 10.30 to kickstart the debate on the bill that would allow a referendum on the 8th amendment.

    When he does he'll describe the regime he'd aim to introduce in the event of a repeal vote.

    It will say there should be abortion without specific indication for up to 12 weeks, or in English abortion will be allowed for any reason within the first trimester.

    GPs and medical practitioners will lead the service, which will be done by administering abortion pills.

    After the 12 week limit, abortions will be allowed in cases of fatal foetal abnormality, or where there's a risk to the life, health or mental health of the mother.

    In these cases 2 doctors will have to examine the mother, and there will be an appeals process if she isn't happy with the decision.

    There will also be a cooling off period. So when a woman goes to seek an abortion, she'll have to wait two or three days to consider it before being given an abortion pill.

    Medical practitioners will also have a contentious objection, so if they don't feel comfortable allowing abortions they won't have to.

  • Just because the legality of abortion is set to change next month in Ireland, that does not mean that the moral and human rights issues around abortion have changed, according to the Catholic Bishop of Elphin, Kevin Doran.

    Following their Winter General Meeting in Maynooth, the Irish Catholic Bishops’ have published a statement today saying that they are “dismayed that, for the most part, the voices of those who voted against abortion in May’s referendum have been ignored.  Even what many people would have deemed to have be very reasonable legislative amendments seeking to provide women with information and to prohibit abortion on the grounds of sex, race or disability, they claim have been rejected. 

    The bishops insists that Irish society must have respect for the right of conscientious objection for all healthcare professionals and pharmacists. Stating quite clearly that these people “cannot be forced either to participate in abortion or to refer patients to others for abortion”.

    Bishop Doran told Midwest News today that the Bishops are not simply stating that abortion cannot be supported, they are urging those against it’s introduction  to continue to campaign against it.

  • There has been a call to delay the introduction of abortion services in January.

    Members of the Institute of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians are looking for an EGM over concerns about the new services.

    A motion suggested for the meeting warns a delay should be considered due to "risks of patient safety" due to inadequate preparation.

    The Irish Times reports Obstetricians from Dublin and outside Dublin and from large and small maternity units had signed the motion. 

  • The Dáil will debate proposed new laws on abortion for the first time later.

    Health Minister Simon Harris got cabinet approval for the legislation last week.

    He remains confident doctors will be able to carry out abortions from the start of next year, despite concern from practitioners about whether they'll be ready in time.

    Last night the government announced Dr Peter Boylan will be working with the HSE to lay the groundwork for the new service.


  • Mayo Fianna Fáil TD Lisa Chambers says women both sides of the border should have equal access to abortion services.

    The Health Minister Simon Harris has said that women in the North will be able to access abortion services here.

    Speaking in Belfast yesterday Simon Harris says services will be available to all women on the island of Ireland once the legislation is introduced.

    Unlike the rest of the UK, abortion remains illegal in the north unless the women's life is at risk or there is a serious danger to her mental or physical health.

    Deputy Chambers insists there should be equal access to abortion services north and south.


  • Laws to make abortion legal will be approved by the cabinet this morning.

    The Health Minister will also set out a timeline to have the new laws in place by January 1st.


    More than four months after the Irish people voted overwhelmingly to repeal the 8th amendment the laws allowing abortion to take place will be approved by Ministers today.

    The proposals will allow for abortion without restriction for up to 12 weeks into pregnancy and in limited circumstances after that.

    Minister Simon Harris will say the government is committed to providing abortions for free when the service comes in.

    He also wants to bring in safe access zones around areas where women access terminations to prevent them from being harassed or intimidated when going for an abortion.

    Despite concerns from doctors Simon Harris believes the new service can be in place by January 1st.

    The legislation will be introduced into the Oireachtas next week.



  • Roscommon Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins has confirmed that she will be voting NO in the forthcoming referendum on repealing the 8th amendment.

    Senator Hopkins says she does support terminations in case of rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormalities, and when a woman’s life or health is at risk, however, she cannot support abortion without restriction for up to 3 months.