Taoiseach Enda Kenny has given his clearest signal yet that threat of suicide will be legitimate grounds for abortions.
After publishing the report of an expert group on abortion last night, the Irish government must make a decision on which of its options to implement.
But some of his Fine Gael TDs are strongly opposed to introducing legislation that recognises suicide as grounds for abortion.
Mr Kenny indicated that the Government would address the suicide grounds in its response.
“The concerns expressed in respect of the threat to the life of a mother by suicide (must be) addressed in a realistic fashion here,” he said.
The report from the expert group was compiled to set out options for implementing a European Court of Human Rights ruling that a ban violated the rights of a woman who feared a cancer relapse in an unplanned pregnancy. This followed a 20-year-old judgment from the Supreme Court, in the X Case, that termination in life-threatening circumstances, including a risk of suicide, can be lawful.