On conscientious objection, the Bill still provides that no medical practitioner will be forced to carry out an abortion if they have a conscientious objection.
While the bill no longer includes a provision allowing an institution to refuse to provide a termination on the grounds of conscientious objection, department sources insisted this morning that this was because the provision was unnecessary.
The Bill requires the medical practitioner with the objection to provide for the “transfer of care” of the pregnant woman.
The Bill provides a penalty of up to 14 years in prison for the offence of destroying unborn human life.
This is a tighter definition than in the draft heads of the bill, which made it an offence to “do any act with the intent to destroy unborn human life”.
This was said to apply to anyone involved, including the pregnant woman herself.