Health, Minister, Stephen Donnelly has secured cabinet approval to legislate for the designation of safe access zones around healthcare premises to safeguard access to termination of pregnancy services.
Minister Donnelly said, “I am delighted that Government has agreed to these heads of bill. Nobody should be harassed, insulted, intimidated or interfered with in any way, or have their decision to access lawfully available healthcare services subject to attempted unsolicited influence by strangers.”
“The heads of bill designate specified healthcare premises and 100m surrounding their perimeter as safe access zones. The introduction of safe access zones will protect the freedom to access termination of services without impediment and the privacy and dignity of women accessing health services, as well as the service providers, and their staff in the course of their duties and responsibilities.”
The heads of bill have been developed with the support and input of representatives of the Departments of Health and Justice, the HSE and An Garda Síochána. Following the Government decision to approve the heads of bill, a formal Bill will be drafted by the Office of the Attorney General, in consultation with the Department of Health.