Abortion Laws To Be Reformed In Ireland

Abortion Laws To Be Reformed In Ireland

Ireland looks set to bring in laws reforming the country's limited ban on abortion in the new year.

Health minister James Reilly revealed the Irish government will make its decision on whether to introduce a combination of legislation and regulations by the end of next month.

An expert group of medics and legal minds tasked with examining options for new rules on termination of pregnancy found a two-pronged approach is the most effective.

Dr Reilly said: "The Government decision in relation to this will be made before the end of December and implemented in the new year."

He said it was important for everyone to have a chance to debate the issue.

Irish prime minister Enda Kenny has indicated he wants the matter resolved quickly and correctly.

“Well, as I say this is a matter that requires careful, calm, considered and sympathetic consideration, there are genuinely very strong views on many sides of this argument," he said.

Ireland has been gripped by debate on the need for reform of the limited ban on abortion for weeks after it emerged that an Indian dentist living and working in the country died in hospital after suffering a miscarriage and subsequently septicaemia.

It is reported that the hospital involved refused to perform an abortion on the grounds that Ireland was a Catholic country.

Savita Halappanavar's family claim her repeated requests for a termination were denied. The claim should be substantiated by the hospital's medical notes, but it has been revealed that these notes are now missing.

"This (the missing notes) is a concern and this is a substantive matter for the investigation. It would be prejudicial for me to make any comment," said Dr Reilly.

Mrs Halappanavar's husband Praveen has said he is now determined if necessary to bring the case to the European courts in order to secure a public inquiry.

“I do not think it is fair that they are making me fight for this. All Savita's family want is the truth. It is unfair to force me to do this but the fight will continue. We will go to Europe if we must,” he said.