Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Questions (345, 346)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

345. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health his plans to ensure that in future no abortion can be carried out under section 11 of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 without confirmation by long-term culture testing and amniocentesis; and if he will institute medical guidelines and/or change the law to ensure that such a situation can never occur again. [24967/19]

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Peadar Tóibín

Question:

346. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health the number of abortions carried out under section 11 of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 without the use of genetic CVS cell culture testing and/or without the obstetrician who is certifying the abortion actually meeting with the mother. [24968/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 345 and 346 together.

As the Deputy will be aware, Section 11 of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 sets out the law on access to termination of pregnancy in cases where there is a condition present affecting the foetus that is likely to lead to the death of the foetus.

Section 11 provides that a termination of pregnancy may be carried out where two medical practitioners, having examined the pregnant woman, are of the reasonable opinion formed in good faith that there is present a condition affecting the foetus that is likely to lead to the death of the foetus either before, or within 28 days of, birth.

The appropriate medical body, the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Obstetricians based in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, has published Interim Clinical Guidance on Termination of Pregnancy in a number of scenarios, including the Pathway for Management of Fatal Fetal Abnormalities and-or Life-Limiting Conditions Diagnosed During Pregnancy.

Under section 20 of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018, a notification of each termination of pregnancy carried out under the legislation must be sent to me, as Minister for Health, within 28 days of it being carried out. I must prepare a report on the notifications received in a given year not later than 30 June the following year and lay it before the Houses of the Oireachtas. The report may then be published. No information on notifications received under the Act will be released until after the annual report for 2019 has been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas on or before 30 June 2020.