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Dublin: 0 °C Thursday 27 February, 2020
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Simon Harris said he was 'appalled' by protesters outside the National Maternity Hospital today

Harris responded to a tweet and said he was committed to implementing exclusion zones.

HEALTH MINISTER SIMON Harris said that he was appalled by protesters demonstrating outside the National Maternity Hospital today. 

A video shared on social media from inside the building showed a large crowd outside the hospital believed to be demonstrating against abortion services.

Harris responded to the tweet and said he was committed to implementing exclusion zones around hospitals carrying out termination procedures. 

Exclusion zones are intended to prevent protesters demonstrating within a certain distance of facilities providing abortion care. 

Harris tweeted: “Appalled to see. I don’t wonder why we need it at all. Have been engaging with Attorney General, Gardai & service providers about how best to bring it in in a manner that is constitutional etc. Can assure you I am committed to it and will be meeting cross party on it this month.”

Today marks a year since termination services became available in Ireland under the Health Act 2018. 

“When we started this service, we had fewer than 170 GPs but this has doubled to over 340. All our maternity hospitals are providing termination of pregnancy care. Ten are providing the full range of services,” Harris said. 

“Throughout 2020, we want to expand the service further and I will work with Dr Aoife Mullally, the HSE and the HSE Board to ensure we continue to evolve this vital service in our health service.” 

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