Tomorrow the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill is being debated before the Oireachtas.  180 amendments have been proposed.

This list summarises and highlights the key pro-choice amendments that have been put forward. For detailed analysis of anti-choice amendments see here.

 

General
  • Amend stigmatising definition of abortion
  • Add a long title to the Bill confirming that its role is to facilitate timely and safe access to abortion
  • Allow healthcare practitioners other than doctors to be involved in care
  • Trans* inclusive language
  • A statement guaranteeing access to abortion, without discrimination
  • A statement ensuring that where the legislation is capable of different interpretations, doctors must adopt the interpretation most favourable to protecting the pregnant person’s rights
  • Completely decriminalise abortion, whether or not carried out within the scope of the legislation, or tackle unduly broad new criminal offences in s. 5 (ensure doctors acting in good faith are not criminalised, addressing coerced illegal abortion)
  • Allow for transfer of pregnant person’s care within a team of doctors.
  • Sanction for doctors’ refusal to refer a patient to a willing colleague on the basis of conscientious objection
  • Ensure publication of relevant public health information around the abortion service, including recording refusals of access to termination
  • Prevent harassment of service providers
  • Human-rights oriented independent review of the operation of the legislation within years of its commencement
  • Ensure access to abortion in the Republic for women ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland
12 weeks
  • Replace requirement to physically examine people seeking abortion pre-12 weeks with requirement to consult with them/assess their views
  • Remove the 3 day waiting period, or mitigate delays associated with its operation
  • Allow access without the need to prove grounds, up to 12 weeks’ gestation, not 12 weeks LMP
Post 12 weeks
  • Definition of health, consistent with best international practice
  • Allow access to abortion post-12 weeks on grounds of risk to health, not risk of serious harm to health.
  • Change requirement that life-saving/health-preserving abortion can only be offered if it will eliminate (rather than reduce) the risk to life/health.
  • Remove arbitrary time limit in fatal foetal abnormality provision
  • Amend the definition of viability which might be used to refuse abortion access in cases where the woman’s life/health is at risk provided the foetus can be kept alive after birth with extreme interventions.

 

To read more about the arguments for these amendments, you could read our recent briefing paper .

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