Legislation which commenced on 1 January 2019 following the REPEAL referendum requires the Minister for Health to carry out a review of the operation of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 no later than three years after the commencement of Section 7 of the Act.
In a question to the Taoiseach this week Deputy Bríd Smith of People Before Profit pointed out that it is apparent that the Minister for Health has not appointed an independent expert to lead the review and that given there are seven weeks left in the year 2021, it will be impossible to conduct a review that consults the users and providers of the termination of pregnancy services. The Minister is also obliged to establish a public consultation and all to be completed before 1st January 2022.
Bríd Smith TD said: “This is outrageous, and I have consistently the Minister for Health for the details and the progress of this review. Women need this review to be conducted because it will highlight the flaws in the operation of the law. Post Repeal it is intolerable that women are still being forced to travel for terminations because of delays to access and barriers to safety.
“I am calling on the Minister to tell the Oireachtas when and how he plans to carry out the review required by law and who he intends to appoint as the lead expert.”