Update: Government to examine loosening current abortion laws while waiting for new legislation

Update 1.00pm: The government will examine loosening the current laws on abortion while waiting for new legislation that would allow terminations in Ireland.

It is after calls from the opposition to support women who choose to have an abortion before the referendum result is given effect.

The Taoiseach has said it is likely to be the start of next year before laws allowing abortion in Ireland take effect.

Concern has been raised for the women who will travel to the UK for a termination in the meantime.

Fianna Fáil's Health Spokesperson Stephen Donnelly says there are some things that can be done now.

"Travelling to the UK for families in the cases of foetal fatal abnormality can cost thousands and thousands of euro," said Mr Donnelly.

"We should provide all of those costs to those families now. And make it free.

"Contraception can be made free now. Additional funding for counselling services could be provided now."

They have brought a bill that the Health Minister will consider over the next few weeks.

Minister Simon Harris also took time this morning to thank some of those long-time campaigners on abortion.

"I want to acknowledge the work of women and men in other parties and political groupings here who have campaigned long and hard for this across many, many Dáils.

"I want to acknowledge Clare Daly - who has been quite a legend in this area.

"It pained me as Minister for Health to come into this House and not be able to accept the bill she was putting forward because of the constitutional barrier that was the Eighth Amendment."

Meanwhile, Fine Gael TD Kate O'Connell said it is time to see more women in leadership roles.

"Sure the Taoiseach is a man. And the leader of the opposition is a man. And the President of Ireland is a man. And the head if the Institute of Obs and Gynae is a man.

"So men are clearly doing grand. What would be wrong with ye. Imagine if we said that in this house."

The Dáil takes a week off next week as TDs push for abortion legislation to be brought quickly.

- Digital Desk

Update 12.00pm: Simon Harris pays tribute to Clare Daly for work on abortion referendum

The Health Minister has praised Independent TD Clare Daly for her work on the abortion referendum.

Deputy Daly gave an emotional speech in the Dáil this week following the repeal of the Eighth Amendment.

Since then the chamber has heard calls for immediate decriminalisation of abortion ahead of new legislation on the issue.

Health Minister Simon Harris says that will come before the end of the year, and praised opposition TDs involved in the Yes campaign.

"I want to acknowledge the work of women and men in other parties and political groupings here who have campaigned long and hard for this across many, many Dáils.

"I want to acknowledge Clare Daly - who has been quite a legend in this area.

"It pained me as Minister for Health to come into this House and not be able to accept the bill she was putting forward because of the constitutional barrier that was the Eighth Amendment."

- Digital Desk

Earlier: 'People want to see action' on abortion legislation, says Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin wants action on abortion legislation taken as quickly as possible.

It is after it emerged the law to give effect to the result in the abortion referendum could be passed through the Dail as soon as September.

The Health Minister updated opposition spokespeople for health last night on the issue.

Sinn Féin spokesperson on health Louise O'Reilly says the will of the people should be heard.

"It is important that we get it right, but it is equally important that we have due respect to the overwhelming result that was announced last Saturday," said the Dublin Fingal TD.

"People want to see action on this. They also want to see us getting it right.

"It's good news that the legislation will be ready. It'll be ready for 10 July to go to Cabinet and then on 11 July we begin discussions in the Dáil."

Yes campaigners at the referendum count in Dublin Castle last Saturday.

- Digital Desk


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