Belfast Telegraph

Abortion law moves a step closer in Republic

By Fionnan Sheahan

Divisive plans to introduce the first laws allowing limited abortion in the Republic moved a step closer last night – despite a revolt in government ranks.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has adopted a hardline stance against those who voted against his government's legislation, expelling four members from the parliamentary party.

Despite the defections, the vote on the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill, 2013, was passed by 138 votes to 24, with three abstentions.

However, the Taoiseach has bigger problems in store as the spotlight now falls on European Affairs Minister Lucinda Creighton who has severe reservations about the legislation, but voted in favour of it last night.

Including Ms Creighton, there could be a further six Fine Gael TDs expelled from the party, bringing the total to 10.

If enacted, the Bill will legalise abortion where there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother, including the threat of suicide.

It aims to legislate for the X case judgment from Ireland's Supreme Court, which found abortion is legal if there is a real and substantial risk.

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