Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018

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Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018
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Oireachtas
An Act to provide for and regulate termination of pregnancy; to make provision for reviews at the instigation of a pregnant woman, or a person on her behalf, of certain medical opinions given in respect of pregnancy; to make available without charge certain services to women for the purpose of termination of pregnancy in accordance with this Act and, for that purpose, to amend the Health Act 1970 and certain other enactments; to provide for offences in respect of the intentional ending of the life of a foetus otherwise than in accordance with this Act; to amend the Bail Act 1997 ; to repeal the Regulation of Information (Services outside the State for Termination of Pregnancies) Act 1995 , the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 and provisions of certain other enactments; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
CitationAct 31 of 2018
Enacted by32nd Dáil
Date passed5 Dec 2018
Enacted by25th Seanad
Date passed13 Dec 2018
Date signed20 Dec 2018
Signed byMichael D. Higgins
Date commenced1 Jan 2019
Legislative history
Bill citationBill 105 of 2018
Bill published on27 Sep 2018
Introduced bySimon Harris
First reading27 Sep 2018
Second reading4 Oct 2018
Third reading5 Dec 2018
Committee report27 Oct 2018
Introduced bySimon Harris
Second reading5 Dec 2018
Third reading13 Dec 2018
Committee report11 Dec 2018
Related legislation
Regulation of Information (Services outside the State for Termination of Pregnancies) Act 1995, Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013
Keywords
Abortion
Status: In force

The Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 (Act No. 31 of 2018; previously Bill No. 105 of 2018) is an Act of the Oireachtas which defines the circumstances and processes within which abortion may be legally performed in Ireland. It was signed by the President of Ireland on 20 December 2018, legalising abortion in Ireland. Abortion services commenced on 1 January 2019.[1][2]

Under the previous law, the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013, a termination is permissible only where there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the woman. The new law follows the approval of the Thirty-sixth Amendment by referendum on 25 May 2018, thereby repealing the Eighth Amendment which had prohibited abortion in other circumstances. This allowed the Government of Ireland to legislate on the issue of Abortion, and led to the passage of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act. This act permits terminations to be carried out up to 12 weeks of pregnancy; or where there is a risk to the life, or of serious harm to the health, of the pregnant woman; or where there is a risk to the life, or of serious harm to the health, of the pregnant woman in an emergency; or where there is a condition present which is likely to lead to the death of the foetus either before or within 28 days of birth. It began on 1 January 2019.[3][1]

Key provisions[edit]

The law allows for a termination:

  • under section 9, where there is a serious to the life or of serious harm to the health of a pregnant woman, after examination by 2 medical practitioners;
  • under section 10, in cases of emergency, where the is an immediate serious to the life or of serious harm to the health of a pregnant woman, after an examination by one medical practitioner;
  • under section 11, where two medical practitioners are of the opinion formed in good faith that that there is present a condition affecting the foetus that is likely to lead to the death of the foetus either before, or within 28 days of, birth; and
  • under section 12, where there has been a certification that the pregnancy has not exceeded 12 weeks, and after a period of 3 days after this certification.

Under section 23, it is an offence punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to 14 years to intentionally end the life of a foetus outside the provisions of the Act. This offence does not apply in the case of a woman ending her own pregnancy.

Legislative history[edit]

A General Scheme of a Bill to Regulate Termination of Pregnancy was published by the Department of Health in March 2018, prior to the passage of the Thirty-sixth Amendment.[4] A second general scheme for the bill was published by the Department of Health in July 2018.[5]

The Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill was introduced into the Dáil Éireann on 27 September 2018 by the Minister for Health Simon Harris. It passed final stages in the Dáil on 5 December, where it was approved by 90 votes to 15, with 12 registered abstentions.[6]

On 13 December 2018, the bill passed final stage in Seanad Éireann by 27 votes to 5.[3]

On 20 December 2018, the bill was signed into law by Michael D. Higgins, the President of Ireland. On 21 December 2018, the Minister for Health issued the statutory instruments specifying the act's commencement date,[7] and the regulations for certifications,[8] notifications,[9] and reviews of decisions.[10] On 1 January 2019, the act commenced.[7]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Reddy, Lianne M.; Nolan, Ann (October 2018). "Bill digest : Health (regulation of termination of pregnancy) bill 2018" (PDF). Oireachtas Library & Research Service. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  • "Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018". Irish Statute Book. Attorney-General of Ireland. 20 December 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2019.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Abortion legalised in Ireland as president signs bill". RTE.ie. 2018-12-20.
  2. ^ Cullen, Paul. "Abortion Bill signed into law by President". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  3. ^ a b Conneely, Ailbhe (2018-12-13). "Abortion legislation passes all stages of Oireachtas". RTE.ie.
  4. ^ "General Scheme of a Bill to Regulate Termination of Pregnancy" (PDF). Department of Health. 27 March 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  5. ^ "General Scheme of a bill entitled Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018" (PDF). Department of Health. 10 July 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  6. ^ "Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018". Oireachtas. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  7. ^ a b Harris, Simon (21 December 2018). "S.I. No. 594 of 2018: Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 (Commencement) Order 2018" (PDF). Irish Statute Book.
  8. ^ Harris, Simon (21 December 2018). "S.I. No. 596 of 2018: Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 (Certification) Regulations 2018" (PDF). Irish Statute Book.
  9. ^ Harris, Simon (21 December 2018). "S.I. No. 597 of 2018: Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 (Notifications) Regulations 2018" (PDF). Irish Statute Book.
  10. ^ Harris, Simon (21 December 2018). "S.I. No. 595 of 2018: Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 (Application for Review of Relevant Decision) Regulations 2018" (PDF). Irish Statute Book.

External Links[edit]