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Abortion Services

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 28 September 2021

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Questions (699)

Seán Canney


699. Deputy Seán Canney asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to research published (details supplied) that drew attention to the fact that there is uncertainty among abortion performing doctors in Ireland regarding the measures to take in the event that an unborn baby survives the abortion procedure; if protocols and guidelines have been put in place to address this humanitarian issue; if so, the precise wording of such protocols and guidelines; if no protocols and guidelines have been put in place, his plans to take measures to address same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46227/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I am aware of the article to which the Deputy refers in his question, on ‘Fetal medicine specialist experience of providing a new service of termination of pregnancy for fatal fetal anomaly: a qualitative study”.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 sets out the parameters in which termination of pregnancy may be lawfully carried out in this country. Section 11 of the Act permits a termination of pregnancy to be carried out in cases where there is a condition present affecting the foetus that is likely to lead to the death of the foetus before or within 28 days of birth.

Clinical guidelines for the provision of termination of pregnancy services, within the legal framework set out in the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018, have been developed by the relevant professional medical bodies. Medical practitioners are bound through professional regulatory mechanisms to operate in accordance with best medical practice.

There is regular ongoing engagement between the Department of Health and the HSE to facilitate the operation of the service and to resolve any issues that may arise.