Termination of twins did not take place under new abortion laws

The Department of Health has said a termination carried out at the National Maternity Hospital in Holles St did not take place under Ireland's new abortion regime.

It was reported this morning that the procedure, carried out a number of weeks ago, was the first to take place under the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act.

The abortion was carried out on a woman who was 18 weeks pregnant with twins, because there was a "real and substantial" risk to her life and because her pregnancy was no longer considered viable.

However the Department of Health has confirmed that the legislation has not yet taken effect because a commencement order has not been issued.

Barrister and former doctor Simon Mills said the procedure was perfectly legal irrespective of whether the new law has come into effect.

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