Abortion legislation comes into effect today

Act provides for a termination of pregnancy in limited circumstances

A law permitting abortion under limited circumstances comes into force today.

An order commencing the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 from today was signed by Minister for Health James Reilly last month.

The Act provides for a termination of pregnancy where there is a real and substantial risk to a woman’s life from a physical illness, including from the risk of suicide.

In order for a termination to take place, two medical practitioners will have to examine a woman and jointly certify that the risk to her life can only be averted by carrying out the procedure.


Regulations also provide for the review of a decision to allow a termination and they set down the procedures for recording terminations and notifying them to the Minister for Health.

The hearings by the Oireachtas health committee which marked the first stage of the legislative process began in January last year.

The Bill was passed by the Dáil and Seanad in early July and signed by President Higgins later that month after he had convened a meeting of the Council of State to advise him.