Ireland’s Abortion Provisions

10.04.2011

Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018
Irish Constitution (1937), Article 40.3.3 as amended in 2018


Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018, Sections 9-12

Risk to life or health

9. (1) A termination of pregnancy may be carried out in accordance with this section where 2 medical practitioners, having examined the pregnant woman, are of the reasonable opinion formed in good faith that—

(a) there is a risk to the life, or of serious harm to the health, of the pregnant woman,

(b) the foetus has not reached viability, and

(c) it is appropriate to carry out the termination of pregnancy in order to avert the risk referred to in paragraph (a).

(2) Of the 2 medical practitioners referred to in subsection (1)—

(a) one shall be an obstetrician, and

(b) the other shall be an appropriate medical practitioner.

(3) A termination of pregnancy shall not be carried out under this section unless each of the medical practitioners referred to in subsection (1) has certified his or her opinion as to the matters referred to in that subsection.

(4) The termination of pregnancy to which the certification referred to in subsection (3) relates shall be carried out—

(a) by the obstetrician referred to in subsection (2)(a), or

(b) where the medical practitioner referred to in subsection (2)(b) is also an obstetrician, by that obstetrician or the obstetrician referred to in subsection (2)(a).

Risk to life or health in emergency

10. (1) Notwithstanding the generality of section 9, or any determination made or pending pursuant to section 16 of an application under section 13(2), a termination of pregnancy may be carried out in accordance with this section by a medical practitioner where, having examined the pregnant woman, he or she is of the reasonable opinion formed in good faith that—

(a) there is an immediate risk to the life, or of serious harm to the health, of the pregnant woman, and

(b) it is immediately necessary to carry out the termination of pregnancy in order to avert that risk.

(2) Where a medical practitioner proposes to carry out a termination of pregnancy under this section, he or she shall certify his or her opinion as to the matters referred to in subsection (1)—

(a) before carrying out the termination of pregnancy concerned, or

(b) where it is not practicable to do so before carrying out the termination of pregnancy, as soon as may be but, in any event, not later than 3 days after the carrying out of the termination of pregnancy concerned.

Condition likely to lead to death of foetus

11. (1) A termination of pregnancy may be carried out in accordance with this section where 2 medical practitioners, having examined the pregnant woman, are of the reasonable opinion formed in good faith that there is present a condition affecting the foetus that is likely to lead to the death of the foetus either before, or within 28 days of, birth.

(2) Of the 2 medical practitioners referred to in subsection (1)—

(a) one shall be an obstetrician, and

(b) the other shall be a medical practitioner of a relevant specialty.

(3) A termination of pregnancy shall not be carried out under this section unless each of the medical practitioners referred to in subsection (1) has certified his or her opinion as to the matters referred to in that subsection.

(4) The termination of pregnancy to which the certification referred to in subsection (3) relates shall be carried out—

(a) by the obstetrician referred to in subsection (2)(a), or

(b) where the medical practitioner referred to in subsection (2)(b) is also an obstetrician, by that obstetrician or the obstetrician referred to in subsection (2)(a).

Early pregnancy

12. (1) A termination of pregnancy may be carried out in accordance with this section by a medical practitioner where, having examined the pregnant woman, he or she is of the reasonable opinion formed in good faith that the pregnancy concerned has not exceeded 12 weeks of pregnancy.

(2) A termination of pregnancy shall not be carried out under this section unless the medical practitioner referred to in subsection (1) has certified his or her opinion as to the matter referred to in that subsection.

(3) The termination of pregnancy shall not be carried out by a medical practitioner unless a period of not less than 3 days has elapsed from—

(a) the date of certification under subsection (2) by that medical practitioner, or

(b) where a certification was previously made in respect of the pregnancy by another medical practitioner for the purposes of subsection (2), the date of that previous certification.

(4) A termination of pregnancy to which the certification referred to in subsection (2) relates shall be carried out as soon as may be after the period referred to in subsection (3)(a) or (b), as the case may be, has elapsed but before the pregnancy has exceeded 12 weeks of pregnancy.

(5) For the purposes of this section, “12 weeks of pregnancy” shall be construed in accordance with the medical principle that pregnancy is generally dated from the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period.

 


Irish Constitution (1937), Article 40.3.3 as amended in 2018

Article 40.3.3

Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy.