13 November 2017
Dr Ruth Fletcher, Senior Lecturer in Medical Law at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), provided expert testimony on medical law issues to the Irish Parliament’s Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment on 8 November.
The Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, or Article 40 3 3, guarantees to protect pre-natal life on an equal basis with the pregnant person’s life, and inhibits the liberalisation of abortion law in Ireland. The Irish Parliamentary Committee is meeting to consider the Citizens’ Assembly's recent recommendations that the Constitution should be changed, and that a law allowing abortion ‘with no restriction as to reason’ , among other things, should be adopted.
Dr Fletcher reviewed how decriminalization, a guarantee of access, an ‘on request’ pathway to abortion care, and a risk to health or life ground in the later stages of pregnancy, could be translated into a draft Reproductive Health and Access to Abortion Bill. You can see her submission here.