Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

New Irish Abortion Bill passes into law

President Michael D Higgins
President Michael D Higgins

Irish President Michael D Higgins has passed new laws allowing abortion in the Republic under certain circumstances.

He signed off on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 without referring it to the Supreme Court, after meeting his advisers, the Council of State.

The new laws will provide for a woman's right to an abortion if her life is at risk.

The legislation was drawn up amid a public outcry over the death of Savita Halappanavar, who died in an Irish hospital in October last year. She had been denied an abortion as she miscarried 17 weeks into her pregnancy.

Her widower, Praveen, claimed the couple had been told a termination was not allowed because "Ireland is a Catholic country".

In 1992, Dublin's Supreme Court delivered a judgment, known as the X case, ruling that abortion should be allowed if there was a threat to the mother's life, including suicide.

The Pro Life Campaign said the passage of the bill into law was a very sad day for the country and warned it will be remembered at the next general election.

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