The Termination of Pregnancy Bill must be amended to deliver for women - Senator Paul Gavan
Speaking this evening Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan said that this week the Seanad is faced with the last opportunity to improve the Termination of Pregnancy Bill before it becomes law, in order to ensure it delivers for women, that it works for women, and that it is safe for women.
Senator Gavan said:
“The Termination of Pregnancy Bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation that will be passed by the Dáil and the Seanad.
"However, as things currently stands the legislation is extremely restrictive is some of its core parts.
"In the main these pertain to the onerous waiting period incorporating numerous visits to a doctor and the continued criminalisation of doctors acting in good faith and others who may help the woman access abortion.
"This means the Seanad has a unique opportunity this week as it debates and vote on the Bill and the amendments which have been submitted to it.
"We have the opportunity to improve the legislation regarding the Termination of Pregnancy to ensure that it delivers for women, that it works, and that it is safe.
"This is the last chance the Oireachtas will have to improve this Bill before it becomes law and we must be certain that it is got right.
"The reason this is so important is because right across the world we have seen that once abortion laws are passed it is sometimes very difficult to revisit them.
"The women of Ireland have waited a very long time for this piece of legislation, but as it currently stands, it leaves a lot to be desired.
"We are well aware of how difficult it is for opposition parties to amend existing legislation; therefore, it is vital that Minister Harris take on board constructive amendments from progressive TDs who seek to make the legislation delivers for women, that it works for women, and that it is safe for women.”