MINISTER OF STATE for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton has tabled a number of amendments to the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013, including an ambitious line of care for women who present as suicidal.
The junior minister has already expressed her strong opposition to the bill and is likely to vote against it and lose the Fine Gael party whip.
In her eight tabled amendments, Creighton proposes that suicidal ideation be removed from the bill as grounds for granting a termination.
However she does recommend a detailed pathway for suicidal women including a ‘suicide prevention algorithm’ to determine the need for hospital admission, day hospital care or care at home, speedy assessments and special care plans, therapy and treatment.
The pathway sets out a longterm plan by which a woman would be evaluated twice weekly during the crisis stage and her ‘care team’ would meet at least once every two weeks to assess her progress.
Another amendment seeks to have a woman seeking a termination meet with three medical practitioners, represented by a legal advocate, and an advocate for the the preservation of the life of the unborn, nominated by the Attorney General.
She is also looking to have the Minister for Health prescribe a time limit outside which all unborn human life is deemed to be viable and a termination is not permitted.
On the issue of penalties for women convicted under the act, Creighton proposes the sentence be reduced from 14 years to five.