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Cabinet to discuss issue of ‘false’ abortion services

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said he will speak with Cabinet colleagues about potential new measures against “essentially false services that are tricking women and fooling women” about their abortion rights.

Speaking to RTÉ News as he arrived at Government Buildings for today’s Cabinet meeting, Mr Donnelly said he is “very concerned” about the issue and wider issues raised by RTÉ’s Investigates programme yesterday evening.

Mr Donnelly said he will speak with Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and Minister for Enterprise Peter Burke about what potential steps can be taken to address “essentially false services” which he said are providing misinformation to women about their abortion rights.

Minister Donnelly separately said 17 of the 19 maternity units in hospitals across the country now provide abortion services.

He said this number stood at 10 at the start of the coalition’s term in office and that he wants to see it increased to all 19 maternity units before the next general election.

Mr Donnelly also said he believes the Safe Access Zone bill will make its way through the Seanad in the coming months and that further issues raised in RTÉ’s Prime Time report will be addressed.

He said it is important to ensure women have access “to safe services”.

In addition, Minister Donnelly said he is bringing a memo to Cabinet today to allow pharmacists to prescribe medications under set criteria including the oral contraception pill in conjunction to this Mr Donnelly will bring a memo outlining the health service’s critical care capacity bed numbers, which he said have increased by one third in recent years and by 22 critical care beds this year to date.

Read more:

Undercover in counselling services misleading women on abortion

Treated like ‘criminals’: Leading barrister calls for urgent reform of abortion services

‘I’m angry’: Dublin woman on trauma of travelling for abortion

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