Press Release

Annual Report of notifications in accordance with the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, 2013

The first annual report on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act has been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas as required under Section 20 of the Act.  The report covers the period from 1st of January 2014 until the 31st of December 2014.

The report shows that 26 terminations were carried out under the Act in 2014. Fourteen of these arose from 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.

This total number of 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.

Minister Varadkar said that on the basis of the notifications received by the Department, the evidence indicates that the Act is working and that the hospitals are compliant with the notifications requirement under the Act.  The information published on these procedures is restricted in order to limit the risk of identification in what is a private confidential matter between patients and their doctors.

“Abortion is illegal in Ireland except where there is a threat to the life of the mother. In these circumstances, it is a matter for the patient and her doctors. For this reason and to protect privacy and confidentiality, the information being released today is limited to that required by the Act,” Minister Varadkar said.

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.

The HSE’s report shows that one application for review was made to the Executive, one review was carried out under Section 7 of the Act, and the Review Committee found that this application did not meet the criteria for a termination of pregnancy under the Act.

The report can be viewed here.