I propose to take Questions Nos. 646 and 684 together.
The Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 was signed into law on 20 December 2018 and commenced on 1 January 2019. Section 7 of the Act states that “The Minister shall, not later than 3 years after the commencement of this section, carry out a review of the operation of this Act”.
The review of the operation of the Act is being progressed this year, in line with statutory and Government commitments.
At their request, I held online meetings with stakeholder groups in early June to discuss the approach for the review being developed by my Department. I also met with clinicians to seek their views.
As I have stated previously, an independent expert will be appointed to lead the review, which will comprise a three-part approach to appraise the operation of the Act, with strands focusing on service users, service providers and a public consultation.
An opportunity will be provided in the coming months for interested groups, organisations and members of the public to provide their views to inform the review.
Upon completion of the review, a full report with any necessary recommendations, will be submitted to me, as Minister, for consideration. I will submit my recommendations, with the report, to Government.