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Ireland to introduce new abortion laws

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The Irish Government has announced its decision to legalise abortion where there is a medical risk to the life of the mother, including a risk of suicide.

The decision comes following the death of Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old woman who died in a hospital in Galway after suffering from blood poisoning thought to have been caused by a miscarriage. 

The reporting of the case caused public outcry, with the pro-abortion lobby using the incident to demand that Ireland’s abortion laws be reviewed.

The Irish Cabinet has now announced the Government’s intention to change Ireland’s abortion laws to permit terminations to be performed when the life of the mother is in danger, including the risk of suicide.


But critics argue that Irish laws already permit doctors to terminate a pregnancy to save the mother’s life, and that the risk of suicide as a legal ground for abortion “would not save a single life”.

Maria Steen from the Iona Institute said: “Irish law already allows the ending of a pregnancy when there is no other choice and there is a clear threat to the life of the mother.

“A decision to include a threat of suicide as a ground for abortion would also be wrong in principle because it would authorise for the first time ever the deliberate and direct destruction of unborn human life in Ireland”.

Government whip

Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny said that legislation will be published in the New Year, and that all MPs in the ruling Gael party will be required to vote in favour of the proposals – even though members are divided on the issue.“There will be no free vote on this,” said Mr Kenny.

Related stories

Abortion may not have been requested in Savita’s case


The Telegraph