Abortion bill signed into Irish law by President Higgins

President Michael D Higgins has passed new laws allowing abortion in Ireland under certain circumstances.

Higgins signed off on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 without referring it to the Supreme Court after meeting his advisers, the Council of State, yesterday.

The new laws will provide for a woman’s right to an abortion if her life is at risk, including from suicide.

The legislation was drawn up amid a public outcry over the death of Savita Halappanavar, an Indian dentist who died in an Irish hospital in October last year.

She had been denied an abortion as she miscarried 17 weeks into her pregnancy.

Her widower, Praveen, claimed the couple had been told a termination was not allowed because “Ireland is a Catholic country”.

In 1992, Dublin’s Supreme Court delivered a judgment, known as the X case, ruling that abortion should be allowed if there was a threat to the mother’s life, including suicide.

The case involved a 14-year-old rape victim who became pregnant and was refused permission by the Irish authorities to travel to the UK for an abortion.

The European Court of Human Rights also ruled that a woman in remission with cancer was discriminated against because she was forced to travel overseas for a termination.


Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

Related Articles

Mandatory retirement age may be abolished

Angry pensioners stage Dail protest over pension cuts

More in this Section

No winner of Lotto jackpot

PSNI find suspected Dissident Republican arms dump

Government condemns white nationalism following violent rallies in US

LATEST: Mother-of-six and man killed in Ballymun shooting; thought to be feud-related


Today's Stories

Sister of murdered criminal killed in gangland shooting

Ireland must prepare for hard border, warns Simon Coveney

Canadian firm acquires Voxpro in €150m deal

Condemnation as mother of six shot dead in her home

Lifestyle

Can experiencing awe really make us better people?

Summer solutions to survive the school holidays on a budget

An Inconvenient Sequel offers solutions rather than problems

Irish fans remember Elvis Presley 40 years after his death

More From The Irish Examiner