Groups say Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013 has defects

Wednesday 22 May 2013 22.21
The groups said hearings on the bill were narrow and technical and did not give a voice to women
The groups said hearings on the bill were narrow and technical and did not give a voice to women

Several organisations have said that there are defects in the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013.

The groups, who are in favour of legislating for the X Case, have said that defects in the bill may contravene the A, B and C decision at the European Court of Human Rights. 

The organisations, which include the National Women's Council, Action on X and the Irish Family Planning Association, also criticised the Oireachtas Health Committee for not inviting them to participate in hearings on the bill.

They said the hearings were narrow and technical and did not give a voice to women.

The groups want the bill to be amended in five key areas:

- Abortion to be decriminalised.

- A reduction in the panels of three doctors required to authorise a termination on suicide grounds.

- Legislation to require medical professionals to declare anti-choice views and to absent themselves from panels.

- Review period for abortions should be reduced to three days.

- Legislation broadened to include fatal foetal abnormalities and pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest.