Will the proposed new law be more liberal than the British Abortion Act 1967?

No.

Up to 12 weeks it will be somewhat more liberal. Under the Abortion Act 1967, which regulates abortion in England and Wales, abortion on request is not permitted. The proposed new Irish law will allow abortion on request up to 12 weeks (see explanation here). However, the Abortion Act 1967 never requires a mandatory waiting/reflection period, while Irish law will require people to wait for 72 hours from making the request before having an abortion in the first 12 weeks.

After 12 weeks Irish law will be considerably more conservative: abortion will be available on far more limited grounds in Ireland, and for a far more limited time scale (up to viability only) than is the case in Britain. The only situation in which the laws will be comparable is where there is a ‘fatal foetal anomaly’.Read More »

What does abortion ‘on request’ up to 12 weeks mean?

Under the Government’s proposed legislation, (for more detail see here) pregnant people would be entitled to request abortion from a GP up to 12 weeks ‘LMP’.  12 weeks. ‘LMP’ is the standard mechanism of dating pregnancy. 12 weeks LMP is usually 9-10 weeks since conception.

A GP would have to certify that the pregnancy is within the 12 week limit.

A pregnant person would then have to take a 72 hour (3 day) ‘waiting period’, following which the GP must provide abortion ‘as soon as may be’ once that time has elapsed.

A woman would not be required to justify her reason for accessing abortion.Read More »