Simon Harris to outline abortion timetable to Cabinet

Cabinet will discuss the timeline for new abortion laws today.

Health Minister Simon Harris will introduce legislation into the Dáil before the summer recess that could be passed by the end of the year.

Other things need to be put in place at the same time - like the regulation of abortion pills and clinical guidelines for medical practitioners.

The Cabinet will discuss the issue today and the Department of Health has asked for a meeting with the relevant medical colleges to discuss guidelines.

While Ministers have been saying they want to move quickly to enact the decision taken by people in the referendum, they want to make sure they get the law right so there is a safe service for women.

Minister Harris is confident the legislation can pass all stages in the Dáil and Seanad and become law before the end of the year.

Fianna Fáil have called for special sittings of the Dáil during the summer break to ensure it passes quickly.

Obstetricians say there needs to more clarity on some of the proposed abortion laws and are calling on Minister Harris to meet with them.

Dr. Keelin O'Donoghue from Cork University Hospital says the issue of resources also needs to be considered.

"We are sitting down to look at this, the institute has formed some expert working groups in all of the relevant areas of the legislation, and we do hope to work with the Minister and his team to ensure that we are ready," she said.

It's a little bit more than just preparing clinical guidelines, that's part of the work, but there is a certain amount of resourcing of what goeson in maternity hospitals that must happen alongside the guidelines.


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