Irish government begin abortion hearings

Published Tuesday, 08 January 2013
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Three days of hearings on the Irish Government's plan to introduce legislation on abortion begin on Tuesday.

Irish government begin abortion hearings
Savita Halappanavar, who died of blood poisoning following a miscarriage. (© The Irish Times)

They are taking place before the Oireachtas Health Committee in Dublin.

It is hoped the process will help shape legislation and regulations on abortion.

The death of a young pregnant Indian woman at Galway University Hospital in October brought the controversial issue to the fore.

The 31-year-old dentist died, after developing septicaemia following a miscarriage, one week on from her admittance to hospital. Her husband alleged that she was refused a medical abortion.

News of her death sparked peaceful protests and candlelight vigils throughout Ireland, and around the world.

The Irish Medical Council and the National Maternity Hospital, as well as top obstetricians, are expected to give evidence to the Seanad Chamber during this week's hearings.

Last month, the Irish Government announced its intention to introduce a combination of legislation and regulations on abortion.

It is thought medical terminations will be allowed where there is a risk to the life of a mother.

To date, a suicide risk has been the subject of much political debate.

This comes after the X case - which happened 20 years ago - involving a teenager who became pregnant as a result of rape.

A High Court banned the young girl from going to the UK for a termination, despite having suicidal thoughts.

The Supreme Court eventually ruled that despite abortion being illegal in Ireland, a woman had the right to seek a termination if her life was in danger, but no legislation was ever put in place.

© UTV News
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