Lebanon Reporter

Community News Network

May 1, 2013

Ireland legislates for limited abortion after woman's death

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — Ireland's government published outline legislation allowing for abortion in limited circumstances, including when doctors agree a pregnant woman is at risk of suicide, in what Prime Minister Enda Kenny said is an attempt to bring "clarity" to the state's position on the practice.

Two doctors must agree a real and substantial risk to the life of a woman exists during pregnancy to approve a termination, according to government documents published in Dublin late Tuesday. In cases in which risk of suicide is a factor, three doctors must agree.

"This is an issue that has been very divisive for over 30 years," Kenny said Wednesday. "The law on abortion in Ireland is not being changed. The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill will at last bring certainty to pregnant women and legal clarity to medical personnel who work within the system."

Successive governments, fearing a backlash in a mainly Catholic nation, have avoided introducing laws to fasten down the meaning of a 1992 Supreme Court ruling granting women the right to an abortion when the mother's life is at risk. The case of Savita Halappanavar, who died last year of septicemia after doctors decided not to carry out a termination, reignited the battle over abortion, among the most divisive issues in an increasingly secular society.

Under the proposal, where the risk to a woman's life is immediate, only the "reasonable opinion of one medical practitioner is required." A woman has the right to appeal a decision not to allow an abortion.

"It is not necessary for medical practitioners to be of the opinion that the risk to the woman's life is inevitable or immediate as this approach insufficiently vindicates the pregnant woman's right to life," the government said. "It will always be a matter for the patient to decide if she wishes to proceed with a termination."

Anti-abortion activists in Ireland opposed the inclusion of a threat of suicide as grounds for abortion, a move they fear could lead to terminations becoming relatively easily accessible. In a 2002 referendum, voters defeated a proposal to remove suicide as grounds for a termination.

Any person found guilty of acting to cause an abortion outside of the parameters in the proposals may face a 14-year prison sentence under the plan, including the woman concerned.

 

1
Text Only
Community News Network
Featured items
Click below to browse and order photos


Photos from June 2014

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide