Kenny: Abortion law 'provides certainty'

Kenny: Abortion law 'provides certainty'
Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said contentious new abortion laws to deal with the issue of a pregnant and suicidal woman are about providing certainty to women and doctors.

The reforms, which one backbench politician opposed before examining the detail, will ease strict rules on termination by allowing an initial panel of three doctors to assess a request to end a pregnancy.

For an abortion to be granted on the grounds of suicide risk, an obstetrician or gynaecologist and two psychiatrists must reach a unanimous decision.

The long-awaited Protection of Maternal Life Bill, published late last night, was agreed after lengthy discussions between the coalition parties in Fine Gael and Labour.

Mr Kenny insisted the Bill was not an attempt to change existing laws, but rather to provide further certainty to pregnant women and doctors.

“The law on abortion in Ireland is not being changed,” he said. “Our country will continue to be one of the safest places in the world for childbirth.

“And the regulation and the clarity that will now become evident through the Protection of Maternal Life Bill will continue within the law, to assert the restrictions on abortion that have applied in Ireland and will apply in the future.”

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