Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Questions (219)

Ruth Coppinger


219. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Health his plans for the introduction of safe access zones around facilities that provide for the termination of pregnancies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40639/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

It is my absolute intention that people can access termination of pregnancy services safely.

My Department and An Garda Síochána have been closely monitoring the situation since termination of pregnancy services commenced in January this year. As part of our examination of the issue, I recently met with the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána. As the Deputy will be aware, I also met with Oireachtas members to discuss safe access and I plan to meet with the Oireachtas members again in the coming weeks to provide a further update.

My Department has also advised health service providers of existing legislation in place to protect them and to protect patients.

The result of the referendum last year gave the Government a strong mandate to introduce termination of pregnancy services and it remains my priority that legislation is fully implemented so that all women in Ireland can access these services quickly, easily and safely.