Simon Harris tells HSE poor coverage of abortion services in west and north west ‘is a real concern’

Gráinne Ní Aodha

MINISTER FOR HEALTH Simon Harris has said that the current provision of abortion services in the north and north west is “a very real concern” and is “not acceptable”.

The minister made the comments during a meeting with the HSE in May about the progress in rolling out abortion services at all of Ireland’s maternity hospitals and units.

Abortion services, as legislated for in the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018, were in place in nine maternity hospitals and units across the country from the 1 January this year. . . .

. . . as it stands, just one more maternity hospital – the Coombe – has also introduced the service, bringing the total to 10 out of 19 maternity hospitals and units. . . . [Full text]

Conscientious objection prevents full rollout of abortion services in several maternity hospitals

The Health Department said it will be asking the HSE to fully implement abortion services in all maternity hospitals and units by September.

Gráinne Ní Aodha

THE FULL ROLLOUT of termination of early pregnancy services has been prevented in at least three maternity hospitals because of conscientious objection complications, documents seen by show.

Following the Eighth Amendment referendum last year, Health Minister Simon Harris gave 1 January as the date by which abortion services for pregnancies at 12 weeks or under would be provided. . .

. . . The rollout of full abortion services has been slower than expected: although there is some level of abortion services available in all maternity hospitals, just ten out of 19 maternity hospitals or units offer full termination of pregnancy services. . . . [Full text]

Kilkenny hospital to appoint extra obstetrician to facilitate abortions

Move follows claim by four doctors that St Luke’s was not ‘an appropriate location’ for the service

The Irish Times

Paul Cullen

An additional obstetrician is to be appointed to St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny as part of the rollout of abortion services to its maternity unit.

The unit in Kilkenny is at the centre of controversy after the existing four obstetricians said it was not an “appropriate location” for the service introduced last January.

“In the event of professional and values training of staff willing to participate in such procedures, the hospital remains an unsuitable location for these services,” the consultants said in a letter to Ireland East Hospital Group chief executive Mary Day last week. . . . [Full text]

Harris says all maternity hospitals ‘should be in a position’ to offer abortion services after Kilkenny medics letter

Sean Murray

MINISTER FOR HEALTH Simon Harris has said that it is the policy of the Department of Health that all 19 maternity hospitals in Ireland should be in a position to provide termination of pregnancy services, following a letter sent by four doctors at St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny last week.

Harris said he had asked his officials to engage with the HSE over this letter, where the doctors said that abortions should not be offered at the hospital. . . .[Full text]

Medical professionals will be able to object to providing terminations

GPs, obstetricians and gynaecologists will be allowed to conscientiously object

The Irish Times

Sarah Bardon

Medical professionals will be able to object to the administration of terminations under Government proposals.

Minister for Health Simon Harris has confirmed he will allow for GPs, obstetricians and gynaecologists to conscientiously object to providing terminations in medical settings. The Government is seeking to introduce legislation to allow for abortions up to 12 weeks and believes this should be a service led by GPs.

However those representing GPs are critical of the lack of engagement by Mr Harris on the proposed legislation.

The National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) said there has no consultation with GPs despite the assumption this service will be run by them . . . [Full Text]