Republic of Ireland news

Republic's abortion laws to be reviewed three years after repeal of 8th amendment

The Republic's Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly. Picture by Niall Carson/PA Wire

THE Republic's abortion laws are to be reviewed three years after the the landslide referendum vote to allow terminations in certain circumstances.

The review of legislation is provided for in 2018's Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act and will see an independent expert make a series of recommendations to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly.

A forthcoming extensive consultation will examine the experience of both women and service providers.

It is unclear whether the review will lead to changes in the law.

"The review is being progressed this year. At this stage it is anticipated that the review will take a three-part approach to reviewing the operation of the act, with strands focusing on service users, service providers and a public consultation,” a Department of Health spokeswoman told The Irish Times.

“Research to inform the service user and service provider strands will be commissioned and carried out independently and a public consultation will be held.”

Mr Donnelly is reported to have already held meetings relating to the review with clinicians, civil society groups and Oireachtas members.

"Upon completion, a full report with any necessary recommendations, will be submitted to the minister for consideration,” said the department spokeswoman.

A total of 6,577 abortions were carried out last year in the Republic, a slight decrease on the first year of the service in 2019.

In 2020, the vast majority of terminations – 6,455 – were carried out in early pregnancies of less than 12 weeks.

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