New irish guidelines on abortion require that a pregnant woman can have the termination or pregnancy certified (and thus performed) only when

  • the life of the woman is in real danger, either for physical reasons, or due to suicidal intentions
  • only an abortion could avoid that risk
  • supervising clinicians had properly considered “the need to preserve unborn human life where practicable.”

The guidelines also state that where a psychiatrist, having met with a pregnant woman, is of the view that she is suicidal and only a termination will avoid her suicide, the psychiatrist will certify that conclusion. If a second psychiatrist agrees that a woman’s suicidal intentions pose a risk to her life, her case will be forwarded to an obstetrician/gynaecologist for the termination to take place.

The guidelines have sparked critiques from both side of the debate.

Tags: , ,