The Health (Termination of Pregnancy) (Safe Access Zones) Bill 2023 has passed in the Dáil. The Bill proposes the creation of 'safe access zones' of 100 metres from an entrance or exit to a premises where the procedure is performed, within which conduct aimed at impeding access to termination of pregnancy services will be prohibited.
This represents a major step towards ensuring that women seeking a termination of pregnancy (TOP) can access services in safety, with dignity and privacy, according to the Department of Health.
In July 2022 the Cabinet approved proposals to legislate for the designation of Safe Access Zones around certain healthcare premises to safeguard access to termination of pregnancy services.
The Bill will now proceed to the Seanad, where Health Minister Stephen Donnelly hopes for similar agreement.