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

Irish workers need to save over €1,000 a month more, states pension report

More in this Section

TD who broke litter laws with 'keep the recovery going' posters bids to have fine reduced

Cork man 'didn't even flinch' when ex-partner asked 'Are you actually going to rape me?', court hears

Gardaí renew appeal for witnesses of fatal hit-and-run in Dublin

'Human excrement' found in children's playground in Co Cork


Today's Stories

Taxi driver claiming €60k ‘was lying through his teeth’

Credit unions in Tipperary and Cork in talks to merge

Laws prevent buoy on bridge

1,300 social housing units for Cork

Lifestyle

Sounds of sibling revelry

I’m cheering on Natalie Portman and Ruth Negga for Oscars

Our Lady's Hospice help patients come to terms with dying

Making cents: Weighing up the expense of health insurance

More From The Irish Examiner