Risk to life or health in emer­gency 5

The Irish Times - Weekend Review - - NEWS REVIEW -

(1) Notwith­stand­ing the gen­er­al­ity of Head 4, or any de­ter­mi­na­tion made or pend­ing pur­suant to Head 11 of an ap­pli­ca­tion un­der Head 8(2), it shall be law­ful to carry out a ter­mi­na­tion of preg­nancy in ac­cor­dance with this Head, where a med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner is of the rea­son­able opin­ion formed in good faith that –

(a) there is an im­me­di­ate risk to the life of, 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) A ter­mi­na­tion of preg­nancy re­ferred to in sub­head (1) shall be car­ried out by the med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner re­ferred to in that sub­head.

(3) Where a med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner –

(a) sub­ject to para­graph (b), pro­poses to carry out a ter­mi­na­tion of preg­nancy re­ferred to in sub­head (1), he or she shall, be­fore car­ry­ing out ter­mi­na­tion of preg­nancy con­cerned, cer­tify the mat­ters re­ferred to in sub­head (1)(a) and (b), or

(b) pro­poses to carry out the ter­mi­na­tion of preg­nancy without first mak­ing such cer­ti­fi­ca­tion be­cause it is not prac­ti­ca­ble to do so, he or she shall make such cer­ti­fi­ca­tion as soon as may be but, in any event, not later than 72 hours af­ter the car­ry­ing out of the ter­mi­na­tion of preg­nancy con­cerned.

DI­VID­ING LINES This refers to the ter­mi­na­tion of preg­nancy when there is a risk to the life or se­ri­ous harm to the health of a mother in an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion.

The sec­tion states it will be law­ful to carry out a ter­mi­na­tion when one med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner is of the rea­son­able opin­ion that there is an im­me­di­ate risk to the life of the preg­nant woman, or of se­ri­ous harm to her health. There are no ges­ta­tional lim­its ap­plied in th­ese cir­cum­stances.

Those op­posed to the re­peal of the Eighth Amend­ment al­lege this will al­low for abor­tions up to full term.

Those in favour say ob­ste­tri­cians will not ter­mi­nate preg­nan­cies be­yond the point of vi­a­bil­ity, which is 24 weeks of preg­nancy.No ges­ta­tional lim­its ap­ply in the ex­ist­ing Pro­tec­tion of Life dur­ing Preg­nancy Act, and a ma­jor­ity on both sides sup­port this law.

‘‘ Those op­posed to re­peal al­lege this al­lows abor­tions up to full term

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