Stephen Donnelly, TD, Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Health, has called on the Government to introduce a package of supports for women in crisis pregnancy ahead of the passage of the bill which enacts the result of the referendum on the 8th Amendment.

Deputy Donnelly commented:

“We heard yesterday that the aim is to have the legislation passed in October and for the new healthcare services to be fully operational by January of next year. We need to get the legislation right, and the regulation, and the medical care. And if that takes the next seven months, then so be it.

“However, there are measures that can be brought in a matter of weeks. Travelling to the UK in the case of Fatal Foetal Abnormality can cost families thousands of euro; these costs should be fully covered.

“Contraception could be made free. Additional funding for counselling services could be provided. The 1995 Act governing provision of information on abortion services could be repealed and the 2013 Act could be amended to decriminalise terminations.

“Yesterday I submitted a Bill that would give effect to both of these. However, the Minister has asked for two weeks for his officials to focus on the new legislation, and so I will not move the Bill at this time,” concluded Donnelly.