Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 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.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz