Final day of debate on abortion bill in Seanad

Final day of debate on abortion bill in Seanad

Today is the final day of debate in the Seanad on the new abortion bill.

The proposed laws are set to be passed fully today when the upper house holds a final vote on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.

The Bill then goes to President Higgins to be signed into law, but it could still be sent to the Supreme Court for a legal examination.

It is nearly three months after the draft edition of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill was published by the Department of Health.

Since then, the Bill has been scrutinised perhaps more than any other piece of legislation in modern Irish history.

But its passage through the Oireachtas should be completed this evening when a final vote is held in the Seanad at around 8pm this evening.

The bill then goes to President Higgins, who will sign it into law sometime over the weekend - unless he decides to convene the Council of State to discuss sending it to the Supreme Court.

Many on both sides of the abortion debate are expecting a referral to the Supreme Court, given the delicate legal ground which led to the X Case ruling and this new law.

It is a landmark day for the Seanad, which will also be holding a final vote on whether to proceed with a referendum on abolishing itself.

That vote is due this afternoon.

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