Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Higgins in abortion law review move

President Michael D Higgins will be asked to sign off on the abortion legislation

President Michael D Higgins is to ask advisers to review the new abortion legislation.

The Council of State, which includes former presidents, taoisigh, judges and individuals personally appointed by the President, will meet at Aras an Uachtarain on Monday.

The advisers will discuss the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 under Article 26 of the Constitution.

A spokesman for the Aras said the meeting will convene at 2.30pm.

Under constitutional rules President Higgins can decide following the meeting to refer the legislation to the Supreme Court.

This is one of the few powers the President has.

In a statement, the President's office said: "The President may, after consultation with the Council of State, refer any Bill to which this Article applies to the Supreme Court for a decision on the question as to whether such Bill or any specified provision or provisions of such Bills is or are repugnant to this Constitution or to any provision thereof."

The bill passed through the Seanad last night after being passed in the Dail over a week ago.

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