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

Angry pensioners stage Dail protest over pension cuts

More in this Section

Man taken from mother after birth urges justice for baby home abuse victims

Man held after woman found locked in car and machete recovered

Man seriously injured after being 'ejected out back window' of car in Limerick

Man in 20s charged in connection with fatal Waterford assault


Today's Stories

Bessborough babies were used for formula trial

Judges told by Taoiseach to respect political powers

Fear of limits on asylum seeker right to work

Fianna Fáil to pick candidates as Dáil deal falters

Lifestyle

Move over, David Gandy — there’s a new crew of Irish men making their mark on the catwalk

The benefit of sport is more than just winning

Dublin Cookie Co is cooking up a business

Ask Audrey: I tried tantric sex with my yoga instructor once and we managed 47 minutes before the bus arrived at Parnell Place

More From The Irish Examiner