Abortion information – the legal position
Information concerning abortion in other
countries can be provided in Ireland, subject to certain rules under law. The
law in question is the Regulation of Information (Services outside the State
for Termination of Pregnancies) Act of 1995.
Information about abortion can be provided
by doctors, by certain agencies and by counsellors.
Information is defined as knowledge likely
to be required by a woman for the purpose of availing herself of services
provided outside the State for the termination of pregnancies. In effect this
means that the names and addresses of abortion services can be provided.
However, doctors can not make an appointment with an abortion service on behalf
of a pregnant woman. The doctor can hand over the woman’s medical records.
Abortion is not legal in Ireland except
where there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother, including
a risk arising from a threat of suicide (the so-called X Case). However, under
Medical Council guidelines to doctors, while termination can occur where there
is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother this does not include
a threat of suicide.
Objective and truthful information
General information that is provided on
abortion must be truthful and objective and must not advocate or promote
abortion. The information provided in books, meetings or the media must relate
to services which are lawful in another country.
Doctors or other professionals are not
obliged to give information on abortion. Where information or counselling
services are provided, the information must:
* not advocate or promote abortion but it
can include anti-abortion advocacy
* information, advice and counselling on
all options must be provided
* any person or agency giving abortion
information can not have a financial interest in an abortion service in another
For more information see the Crisis
Pregnancy Agency information site at…