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Legislative Process

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 8 September 2020

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Questions (1340)

Jennifer Whitmore


1340. Deputy Jennifer Whitmore asked the Minister for Health when the assisted human reproduction Bill 2019 will return to Dáil Éireann; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22203/20]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government approved the drafting of a bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research, based on the published General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill. This far-reaching piece of legislation encompasses the regulation of a wide range of practices for the first time in this country, including: gamete (sperm or egg) and embryo donation for AHR and research; surrogacy; pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) of embryos; posthumous assisted reproduction; and embryo and stem cell research. The General Scheme also provides for the establishment of an independent regulatory authority for AHR.

Given the comprehensive scope of the legislation and the ethical, legal and social issues which arise from AHR practices, certain areas of the General Scheme are being considered further and refined during the ongoing process of drafting this Bill, in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General. There has been some effect on the drafting process caused by the impact of additional work arising from the response to the Covid-19 pandemic and it is not possible at this time to give a definitive timeline for the publication of the Bill and its subsequent passage through the Houses of the Oireachtas. However, a commitment to enact this legislation is included in the Programme for Government and it is intended that the Bill will be published during the spring session.