Irish ministers disagree over abortion bill

Published Tuesday, 30 April 2013
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Irish Ministers have not reached an agreement on draft legislation on abortion which could allow women to have a termination if they are at risk of suicide.

Irish ministers disagree over abortion bill
The subject of abortion remains controversial throughout Ireland. (© Getty)

The Dublin cabinet met on Tuesday to discuss the bill, which has already caused divisions to emerge within Fine Gael.

Under the legislation, in a medical emergency, one doctor would be needed to approve a termination. In a non-emergency, that increases to two doctors.

If there is a risk of suicide, three doctors will be needed to sign off on the procedure - but this part of the legislation is proving difficult for Fine Gael members.

Up to 20 Fine Gael TDs and Senators could vote against the bill if it allows abortion on the grounds of suicide risk.

Current law prevents abortion unless there is a risk to the life, rather than the health, of the mother.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny had hoped the bill would be approved on Tuesday and sent off to the committee for the next stage of legislation.

He said: "This is about saving lives, about giving legal certainty and clarity. It's an issue that has been around for a very long time and it's necessary that we do that and provide certainty for women and certainty for medical personnel."

"It's about saving lives - the lives of the mothers and the lives of the unborn children."

Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte added that Ireland has avoided this issue for too long.

He explained: "In the interests in particular of women, legislators - whatever their personal convictions in this matter - must have regard to the decision of our own Supreme Court and of the European Court of Justice and should do their duty as legislators and I hope that's what will happen."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Mark in Ireland wrote (641 days ago):
Frosty you sound very frosty. what an idiot comment from you. The population of Ireland is increasing by the hundreds of thousands every year, people from all over the world come to live here. 20% of the population are foreign born. In parts of Dublin up to 42% of the population is foreign born. They are a very welcoming society. You sound like an idiot stuck in the 17th century. Ireland is much more advanced and tolerant to those in the north of the island. Full of bigots and hypocrites. And i include you in that. You sound very stupid.
sarah in belfast wrote (641 days ago):
Belfast in Belfast im a woman so am i allowed 2 comment???? People going on about its a womans body so it should b her choice huh??? im going 2 need this explained 2 me. from the moment of conception or when the BABYS heart beat starts (depending on what u believe in) this is not part of the womans body it is inside her body yes but it is a seperate body & person. What gives any of us the right 2 play God & decide who should live & who should die?? I got pregnant at a very young age & had no support whatsoever not even from the fella that got me pregnant so I had no choice other than 2 do it by myself. Best thing I have ever done & my son is my whole world!! The thought that I could have made the decision 2 kill him breaks my heart!! U mess up u should deal with the consequences end of. This is coming from the view of a mother & a moral person not a religious person
Rab in Antrim wrote (641 days ago):
As amnesty posters say "protect the human". An unborn life is not a 'choice' its a life.
Frosty in Here wrote (642 days ago):
Ireland seems such a cruel place. Contraception was illegal there until 1980. Thousands of Irish girls travel to England to have an abortion every year. The government is certainly determined to increase the population at any cost, even if it means forcing mums-to-be to give birth to a child of incenstous rape. For centuries people have had religion rammed down their throats, preached into them, beat into them, forced into them, burnt in to them, driven into them at swordpoint, tortured into them until finally it became the norm and the later generations were taught to obey their elders and betters, the same ones who'd never done a real day's work in their lives, nor have ever went without. If this is God's masterpiece, I just don't get it.
Pauline in Carrick wrote (642 days ago):
Eh Religion IS the reason abortion is illegal in Ireland!! Im pretty disgusted by some of the comments on here. Abortion is not murder. Is putting a sick dog down murder? No, its humane choice to prevent suffering. I had every test available carried out with my pregnancies and had any of my children had serious disabilities i would have aborted them to prevent a life time of suffering and pain. There are 3 severely disabled people in my own family. Ive grown up watching them suffer, they have no quality of life at all. As for the comment referring to a child conceived through rape I can only presume you don't know anyone who has been raped or anyone who has given birth. With regards to adoption there are currently 1000's of children in care throughout the UK awaiting a permanent home, so don't make it sound like there's a shortage.
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