Intended for healthcare professionals


Ireland poised to allow abortion when mother’s life at risk

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 03 May 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2875
  1. Muiris Houston
  1. 1Galway

The Irish government has published the heads of a bill that would allow abortion in Ireland in limited circumstances.

In the case of a physical threat to the life of a mother, the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013, will require two consultants (of whom one will be the woman’s obstetrician) to approve an abortion.

If there is a “real and substantial” risk to the life of the pregnant woman owing to the risk of suicide, three consultants will be required to certify the need for a termination of pregnancy. While the woman’s general practitioner should be consulted by at least one of those doctors where possible, the general practitioner is not required to certify the need for a termination.

The …

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