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Health

Introduction of exclusion zones to be delayed

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Anti-abortion protesters outside Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. Photo: Ciara Wilkinson
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The introduction of exclusion zones around GP surgeries and hospitals looks set to be delayed until the end of the year or early 2020.

The Department of Health has not come up with proposals, six months after the new abortion law came into force.

It comes as a new report, commissioned by the department, has revealed Ireland will be the only country in Europe to bring in these safe-access zones. Since the law was liberalised in January, there have been a number of protests by anti-abortion demonstrators although it is far from the scale of action forecasted.

The report on safe-access zones said they are in place in Canada, Australia, the Isle of Man and parts of the US. But no safe-access zone legislative provisions could be identified in any European country.

It said the Irish authorities would need a full examination of constitutional and human rights issues in creating safe-access zones.

Irish Independent

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Anti-abortion protesters outside Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. Photo: Ciara Wilkinson