26 terminations carried out in 2015 under Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act

A total of 26 terminations were carried out in 2015 under the provisions of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, a Department of Health report has revealed.

The report, laid before the Oireachtas, states that 14 terminations were carried out because there was a “real and substantial risk” to the life of the woman due to physical illness.

Nine were conducted as an emergency due to an immediate risk to the life of the woman because of physical illness. Another three were performed because there was a “real and substantial risk to the life of the woman arising from suicide intent”.

A separate report by the HSE revealed that it received one application for review in the same time period, and that the review committee found “the application did meet the criteria for a lawful termination of pregnancy under the provisions of the act”.

The reports cover the second full calendar year since the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act was introduced in 2013. There were also 26 terminations carried out over 2014, according to last year’s report.

There was also one application for review in 2014. However, in this instance it was not deemed to meet the criteria for a termination under the act. The act requires that the minister for health is informed of each termination, without revealing the identity of the woman involved, within 28 days of the procedure taking place.

The act allows for a termination of a pregnancy in instances where two medical practitioners have jointly certified that the woman’s life is at risk due to one of three scenarios: That there is a real and substantial risk of loss of the woman’s life from a physical illness; an immediate risk of loss of the woman’s life from a physical illness; or there is a real and substantial risk of loss of the woman’s life by way of suicide.

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