Fri, Dec 10, 2021
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This week the Minister for Health finally commenced the Review of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018.
The review will seek to capture information on the effectiveness and operation of the Act from the perspective of women who access the service, health professionals who deliver the service and the public. A public consultation will provide an opportunity for the public, organisations, stakeholders, advocacy groups working in the area and all other interested parties to make a submission on the operation of the legislation.
If you wish to make a submission, there are a number of questions set out by the Department in a ‘consultation document’ that you can respond to, available here: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/67c5c-review-of-the-operation-of-the-health-regulation-of-termination-of-pregnancy-act-2018-public-consultation/ You can then send in your submission in the following ways:
Bioethics 2 Unit Public Consultation,
Department of Health,
Block 1, Miesian Plaza,
50-58 Lower Baggot Street,
The closing date for responses is close of business on Friday, 1 April 2022. The Department expects to publish submissions on its website, except in cases where participants have indicated that they do not wish their submission to be published.
The National Women’s Council have developed a ‘Quick Guide’ to help you make the submission, which you can find here: https://www.nwci.ie/images/uploads/Quick_Guide_to_the_Abortion_Review_final.pdf
In addition to the public consultation, the second phase of the review will be led by an independent Chair who will assess the extent to which the objectives of the Act have been achieved. Research to inform the service user experience is being carried out by Dr Catherine Conlon, Associate Professor, Trinity College who is progressing a large qualitative study to investigate unplanned pregnancy and abortion care. This study, which was commissioned by the HSE’s Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme, will aim to generate an understanding of the experiences of women who have accessed care services since the commencement of the Act.
Separate to this, a request for tender to carry out research into the views of service providers on the effectiveness of the Act was published on the eTenders website on the 8th December. Following this procurement process, the Chair will assess the extent to which the objectives of the Act have been achieved. The Chair will also draw on the findings of other relevant peer-reviewed research and consult further with stakeholders as necessary before providing conclusions and any recommendations to the Minister in 2022.
Please feel free contact my office if you have any further questions.