Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Department of Health
305. To ask the Minister for Health the progress of legislation to provide for exclusion zones for protests around health institutions such as general practitioner offices and hospitals in which termination of pregnancy services may be provided. [9080/19]
It is my intention to introduce legislation to ensure safe access to premises in which termination of pregnancy services may be provided. It was originally intended to provide for safe access in the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018, but a number of legal issues were identified during the drafting process. In order to allow full consideration of these issues, and so that the publication of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill would not be delayed, it was decided that the best option would be to provide for safe access to health services in a separate companion piece of legislation in 2019.
Government approval for this approach was received in September 2018.
Officials in my Department are working with the Office of the Attorney General on this legislation with a view to having a General Scheme drafted by the summer.