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Twenty-six terminations notified under abortion law

Under the legislation, the Minister is obliged to publish an annual report on notifications received.

Fourteen notified cases involved a risk to the life of the mother arising from physical illness, three arose from a risk to the life of the mother from suicide, and nine from a risk to the life of the mother from emergencies arising from physical illness.

According to the Department, the total number of notified terminations (26) is “in line with annual estimates presented to the Joint Oireachtas Committee hearings on the General Scheme of the Bill in January 2013”.

The HSE has also submitted a report as required under Section 15 of the Act on Reviews carried out in 2014. This report has also been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas.

It shows that one application for review was made to the Executive, one review was carried out under Section 7 of the Act (relating to risk of loss of life from physical illness), and the Review Committee found that this application did not meet the criteria for a termination under the legislation.

The Act requires that the Minister for Health be notified of each termination of pregnancy no later than 28 days after it has taken place, without disclosing the name of the woman.

In April, the Medical Independent (MI) revealed that some notification forms were not completed in compliance with the legislation, “with missing or incorrect information being supplied, and including serious breaches of patient confidentiality” according to correspondence from CMO Dr Tony Holohan to HSE Director General Mr Tony O’Brien in September 2014.

MI had asked the Department and the HSE in how many instances Part A of the notification form (Patient Details) was erroneously sent to the Minister and how many of these instances involved disclosure of the woman’s name. However, neither body commented on these questions.

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