Taoiseach Enda Kenny has ruled out allowing abortion for women who have been raped or where the unborn child has a fatal foetal abnormality, or even holding a referendum on the issue.
Mr Kenny said the Irish people had already voted in previous referendums and had provided provision for the right to travel for abortions.
He said terminations will only be allowed where there is a real or substantial threat to the woman's life.
Mr Kenny was questioned in the Dail by Independent Waterford TD John Halligan, who said it was “warped justice” that women who were raped could be jailed for 14 years for having an abortion under the Irish government's new legislation.
Mr Halligan called for a referendum on this and the fatal foetal abnormality issue, but Mr Kenny ruled this out.
Mr Kenny also said the abortion legislation can be changed when the Oireachtas Health Committee completes its hearings on the heads of the bill.