Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Statement by the Department of Health and Children on the current status of the recently enacted abortion legislation.

Following publication of the story on the alleged abortion of twins at the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street the Health Department acted swiftly and issued the following media release 
The Protection of Life during Pregnancy Act was signed into law by the President on 30 July 2013.
It has not yet commenced. It will be commenced as soon as is practicable.

There are operational issues which need to be addressed before it can be commenced.
These include the establishment of a panel of medical practitioners for the purpose of the formal medical review provisions and administrative facilities to enable the review committee, drawn from the review panel, to perform its functions.

As provided for in the Act, these operational issues will be addressed by the HSE.

In order to respect patient confidentiality, the Department of Health will be making no further comment on this issue.
Meanwhile the Independent reports that the legislation will be delayed for several months and they quote Health Minister James Reilly as saying, "I would hope the work will be finished before the end of the year".

It would appear that not all of the operational issues have been spelt out in this release, the ones actually mentioned are, according to the article, included in the operational issues which need to be addressed before commencement.

Clearly the longer it takes to address the operational issues the better because the lives of more babies will be saved. It would be interesting however to have a full list of those operational issues and to know whether any of them involve court proceedings or perhaps refusal of medical personnel to cooperate with this anti life legislation.