The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, has said that despite the proposed Bill for the Protection of Life During Pregnancy, the law on abortion in Ireland is not being changed or altered.
The Irish Times reports that the Taoiseach said the new legislation would be “strictly” within the parameters of the Irish Constitution and the ruling that occurred as a result of the X case.
“The law on abortion in Ireland is not being changed,” said the Taoiseach, during a press conference this morning.
The Taoiseach stated that the aim of the new Bill was to protect women and children by “clarifying the circumstances” where doctors are allowed to intervene when a woman’s life is at risk during pregnancy.
The Taoiseach has said that the law on abortion in Ireland is not being changed
“The law on abortion is not being changed. Our country will continue to be one of the safest places in the world for childbirth and the regulation and the clarity that will now become evident through the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill will continue in law to assert the restrtictions on abortion that have applied in Ireland and that will apply for the future,” said Mr Kenny.
The Taoiseach said that the proposed legislation will bring “certainty to pregnant women and legal clarity to medical personnel.”
During the press conference this morning, the Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore, said that he was pleased the Government was “finally legislating for the X case.”
“What we are doing here is legislating for X. We are doing no more and we are doing no less. We are doing so because it is our duty as legislators to vindicate the rights of tens of thousands of women and their families,” he said.
Mr Gilmore added that the proposed Bill was a “sensible and workable solution that respects the right of children and assures that a woman’s voice will be heard.”
Last night the Government agreed the wording for the Bill for the Protection of Life During Pregnancy. The Bill is detailed and complex and includes a “suicide risk” test that was described as being “strict and robust.”
The “test” or assessment will involve a panel of three doctors, two psychiatrists and one obstetrician who must agree unanimously on their final decision.
“The test is where termination was the only way in which the risk of self-destruction could be eliminated,” said a source, speaking about the assessment.
The Oireachtas Committee on Health is expected to open hearings on the draft legislation tomorrow. The Taoiseach has said that the legislation will be enacted before the Dáil breaks for its Summer recess.