People Power Has Ensured Abortion Rights Legislation In Ireland

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Historic Legislation Welcomed by Deputy Brid Smith People Before Profit

Brid Smith TD has welcomed the announcement today that the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill has been approved by Cabinet for publication on the Department’s website.

Deputy Smith firstly welcomed that abortion services, “will be provided on universal access, so the cost is not a barrier for women”.   However, given the crisis in the health service and the current chronic shortage of GP’s the lack of services may prove to be the barrier for women. GP shortages need to be addressed and the penalties imposed by FEMPI legislation (Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) on doctors need to be removed.

Secondly, People Before Profit welcome the commitment to provide “Safe Access Zones” where “patients and staff can go without fear of intimidation or harassment and without being subject to posters and protests.” 
 
Deputy Smith will seek to amend the bill to ensure that this provision does not impede the rights of workers to exercise the right to picket their workplace in case(s) of an industrial dispute.

Finally, Deputy Smith said: “it is important to remind ourselves that passing the referendum by a two-thirds majority sent a clear signal to Government that the Irish people want change and access for all women to make their choices on their reproductive rights. Further delays to the introduction of abortion rights will not be accepted and will be resisted by the amazing Repeal movement that is determined to bring closure to the legacy of the Dark Days of the 8th.”