The new law is a baby-step compared to other countries' laws. There is still no provision for abortion in the case of rape or incest, or fetal anomaly; much less for abortion based on the woman's desire not to have a child. But the law is explicit in not limiting the woman's right to travel to obtain an abortion, leaving open the woman's option to travel to the UK for abortions not permitted under Irish law.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Abortion in Ireland
For the first time, Ireland will permit abortion in some circumstances. First, abortion is permitted when there is a real and substantial risk of loss of the woman’s life from a physical illness. (The law has special provisions regarding emergency situations.) Second, abortion is permitted when there is a real and substantial risk of loss of the woman's life by suicide. Two physicians need to attest to the risk of loss of life from physical illness; three to the risk from suicide. The law includes a conscience clause relieving any physician from participation in the procedure or the determinations relating to risk of loss of life. Text of the law is here. Context-giving coverage from the Guardian is here.