Press Statements

Mandatory three-day waiting period for abortion must be removed

On the third anniversary of the repeal of the Eighth Amendment, Kerry for Choice renews its call for improvements to our abortion legislation to ensure that abortion services are truly free, safe, legal and accessible locally for pregnant people. 

Paula Dennan, Kerry for Choice spokesperson, said: “The mandatory three-day waiting period continues to place additional and unnecessary barriers in the way of people living in rural areas and marginalised people. There is no medical reason for the waiting period.”

“The legislation is up for review, which gives us the opportunity to fix the issues which mean that at least one pregnant person a day is still forced to travel in order to have an abortion.”

“During the Covid-19 pandemic we have seen abortion care, like other health care services, being provided via telemedicine. This is a measure that should remain in place once the pandemic ends. Telemedicine abortion, or self managed abortion as it is also called, allows pregnant people to take both sets of abortion medication at home. Instead of making two trips to their doctor in three days, telemedicine means that people only need to make one trip to their pharmacy to collect their prescription. This makes abortion more accessible for people who otherwise may have found difficulty in attending two medical appointments so close together; people living in rural areas who are reliant on public transport, migrant women, those living in direct provision, women living with disabilities, working class women, omen who are already mothers caring for their children, and women who have other caring responsibilities.”

Ms. Dennan concluded: “It was announced in March that the legislative review had begun. Indications from the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly are that this will be an internal review, which does not meet the assurance Deputy Simon Harris gave in 2018, when he was Minister for Health, that the review would be “external and independent.”

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