State’s human rights watchdog wants abortion totally decriminalised

Legal avenues must be provided for abortion in all cases where fatal conditions are diagnosed, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) has said. It also wants abortion totally decriminalised, which is not the case even in Britain. In addition, it wants an official register of conscientious objectors to be established.

It made the call in its submission to the Review of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018.

The legislation allows for abortion in cases where two medical practitioners form a reasonable opinion the child will likely die before, or within 28 days, of birth.

It has also recommended the mandatory three day waiting period be removed, saying time can cause delays in accessing services and affect the completion of care, especially if the initial termination of pregnancy fails and the woman is close to the 12 weeks gestation limit.