There is no evidence to suggest there is threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour directed towards people utilising abortion services, according to the Garda Commissioner.

In a letter to the Minister for Health, seen by RTÉ News, Drew Harris confirmed his commitment to ensuring "safe access" for staff and patrons at services for terminations.

However, he said that, to date, no incident of criminality had been reported or observed as a result of a protest placed at or near the vicinity of a service centre.

Commissioner Harris said the introduction of any further legislation to ensure "safe access" to termination of pregnancy service, would be redundant at this time.

The letter from the commissioner was read to a number of Oireachtas members at a meeting with the Minister for Health today.

Simon Harris described the commissioner's view on the matter as very important.

However, the minister said that he has a broader job to do than that of Commissioner Harris.

The minister said he believed the commissioner would understand that they have different roles.

"It's about getting the balance of rights correct. It's absolutely legitimate for people to have the right to protest on any matter they want, we live in a democracy, but also we have to make sure that people can access their health services and are not impeded to do so."

Simon Harris said he and Drew Harris agreed at a recent meeting that the commissioner would write to his chief superintendents and superintendents to remind them of the various powers that do exist.

The Department of Health will also write to the health service and remind it of the existing legislation.

Following today's meeting the minister said another meeting would take place in two weeks time to look at policy options.

Earlier this year, Minister Harris pledged to bring forward legislation this month to provide for so-called exclusion zones around premises where women are receiving abortion care.

People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith described the latest development as shameful.

In a statement following the meeting with the minister, she said there should be no "spill over" in any proposed legislation to other areas.

"The legislation must be sure to deal only with the rights of women to access basic healthcare and reproductive rights free from harassment and abuse, both emotional and physical, it cannot be used to limit the right to protest of others," she said.

The issue was raised by the Independent Senator Rónán Mullen in the Seanad, who also attended the meeting.

He said it was clear that the minister still wished to legislate for exclusion zones, but he had "no option but to share the unwelcome news from the Garda Commissioner that his cherished legislation isn't actually needed".

Senator Mullen said it showed the weakness of the minister's position.