Condition likely to lead to death of foetus
6. (1) It shall be lawful to carry out a termination of pregnancy in accordance with this Head where 2 medical practitioners certify that, in their reasonable opinion, there is present a condition affecting the foetus that is likely to lead to the death of the foetus either before birth or shortly after birth.
(2) Of the 2 medical practitioners referred to in subhead (1)
(a) one shall be an obstetrician, and
(b) the other shall be an appropriate medical practitioner. (3) The termination of pregnancy to which the certification relates shall be carried out–
(a) by the obstetrician referred to in subhead (2)(a), or
(b) by another obstetrician, where the medical practitioners referred to in subhead (1) have made such arrangements as may be necessary for the carrying out of the termination of pregnancy by that obstetrician. (4) Nothing in this Head shall affect the operation of Head 7.
DIVIDING LINES This section refers to terminations being made available in the cases of fatal foetal abnormalities. Under the proposals, it would be lawful to terminate a pregnancy when two medical practitioners determine the foetus has a condition that is likely to lead to the death of a foetus either before birth or shortly after. This means two doctors would have to conclude, in good faith, that the foetus has a condition incompatible with life, or would not survive outside the womb.
Those opposed to repealing the Eighth Amendment argue this could lead to abortions when a foetus is diagnosed with a non-fatal abnormality such as Down Syndrome. However, terminations in these cases are outside the law and therefore prohibited, the repeal side points out.
‘‘ Two doctors would have to conclude the foetus has a condition incompatible with life