Health Committee must meet urgently to scrutinise abortion legislation - Louise O'Reilly TD
Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has today written to the chair of the Oireachtas Health Committee calling for the committee to immediately convene and begin scrutinising the General Scheme of the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 in order to expedite the passage of the Bill through the Oireachtas.
Speaking after writing to the Chair, Teachta O’Reilly said:
“Following the historic result of Friday’s Referendum it is now up to the Oireachtas to ensure that the Bill to legislate for the termination of pregnancy is passed as quickly as possible and delivers for women.
“With that in mind I have today written to the Chair of the Oireachtas Health Committee calling for the committee to immediately begin Pre-Legislative Scrutiny (PLS) on the General Scheme of the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill.
“The General Scheme of the Bill has been published for some time now and it is imperative that the Health Committee meets to conduct PLS on the Bill so we can make sure it is fit for purpose, so suggestions can be made on how to strengthen it, and most importantly ensure that it delivers for women.
“PLS is an integral part of the legislative process and the sooner it begins the quicker the legislation will be moved through the Oireachtas.
“I hope that PLS can be arranged to scrutinise the General Scheme of the Bill as soon as possible so sensible suggestions can be raised for inclusion in the Bill.
“Already organisations such as the Dublin Well Woman Centre have suggested that buffer zones be brought in banning protesting around health centres. This would be extremely important to prevent the harassment of women who need to attend a health centre, as happens in Britain and America. Indeed, we saw this in practice here with anti-abortion groups using grossly offensive imagery outside our maternity hospitals.
“I hope that the request for the committee to meet urgently to scrutinise this legislation can be accommodated by the Chair so we can make sure that this legislation is passed through the Oireachtas as quickly as possible."