Abortion act will be law on January 1

The Department of Health yesterday confirmed that the controversial Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act will come into effect on New Year’s day.

The act was signed into law by President Michael D Higgins on Jul 30 after he chose not to refer it to the Supreme Court following a meeting of the Council of State.

The act allows for the termination of a pregnancy when the is a real and substantial risk to the health of the mother, including the risk of suicide.

It caused heated debate during its passage in the Dáil and five Fine Gael TDs, including Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton, lost the party whip.

Last night the Pro Life Campaign claimed the debate that led to the legislation was “shamefully dishonest” and it was not needed to save women’s lives.

Meanwhile the Health Minister has published the Health Service Executive (Financial Matters) Bill 2013, following approval by Government. It suspends for a year transfer of the control of the HSE budget back to the department until Jan 2015.

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