Sunday 18 March 2018

'Women are by-passing abortion law' - ex-Master of Holles Street

Dr Peter Boylan
Dr Peter Boylan

Shona Murray

A former master of Holles Street Hospital will tell TDs today that "the genie is out of the bottle" when it comes to abortion as women are already taking abortion pills.

Dr Peter Boylan, chairman of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Ireland, will appear before the Oireachtas Committee on Abortion.

He is due to address what he says is the "unworkable" nature of the Eighth Amendment and will point to the regular use of abortion pills by Irish women who buy them online thereby by-passing the State's strict abortion regime.

He will tell TDs doctors are concerned about women taking unregulated medicines and the potential harm they may suffer.

The committee met for three hours last night to discuss six options for changing the law on abortion. Further discussions will take place today.

Among the options are simple to retain the Eighth Amendment, meaning abortion would remain illegal and the only law governing abortion would be the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013.

A further option is to repeal the Eighth Amendment and legislate on abortion and have this inserted into the Constitution.

However, the committee heard this would be "cumbersome" as any future changes would require a further referendum.

Other options include repealing the Eighth and stating the specific grounds on which a woman could have an abortion, or repealing and stating broader grounds for abortion.

Another option is to repeal the Eighth and leave it up to the Oireachtas to legislate, while another is to repeal and publish legislation in tandem with the holding of the referendum next year.

Irish Independent

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