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Review to examine which abortion objectives have not been achieved
Barrister Marie O'Shea

26 Jan 2022 / legislation Print

Review to examine which abortion objectives not met

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has appointed barrister Marie O’Shea as independent chair of the review into the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018.

The 2018 act commenced on 1 January, 2019 and governs access to abortion in Ireland.

It permits abortion without restriction up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and in cases of risk to the life or health of the mother, and in conditions likely to lead to the death of the foetus either before or within 28 days of birth.

Under section 7 of the act, a review of its operation must be initiated within three years, to monitor its impact, operation, and effectiveness.

Legal expertise

The minister said that the barrister’s significant legal expertise, and project management and healthcare research experience, made him confident that she would conduct the work thoroughly and efficiently.

O’Shea has lectured at the UCD School of Nursing. 

An operational review commenced last year.

The second phase will be led by the independent chair who will assess the extent to which objectives have been achieved.


A public consultation will run until 1 April and all who wish to express their views should participate, the minister said.

The review will assess the extent to which the act’s objectives have not been achieved and make recommendations.

It will examine the arrangements put in place for abortion provision in community settings and in acute hospital settings.

Service users will be canvassed to find out whether the legislation provides access to abortion to those who wish to avail of it.

Views will be gathered from hospitals, women’s health clinics, GP surgeries, nurses, midwives, and pregnancy counsellors providing abortion services.

Medical colleges and the HSE will also be canvassed.

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