The four Catholic Archbishops of Ireland have condemned the government's decision to legislate for abortion - saying it will pave the way for the direct and intentional killing of unborn children.
In a statement issued this evening Cardinal Sean Brady, and Archbishops Diarmuid Martin, Michael Neary and Dermot Clifford said today's decision by the Irish Government should be of the utmost concern to all.
They have said that such a law would fundamentally change the careful balance between the equal right to life of the mother and her unborn child.
Describing the X-Case ruling as a flawed Judgement, they said to legislate for it would be both tragic and unnecessary.
The bishops said that public representatives are now being asked to choose whether to licence the direct and intentional killing of the innocent baby in the womb.
The bishops urge people to pray that public representatives will be given the courage to do what is right.
Meanwhile Pro-life groups are expressing concern and disappointment over the government's decision to introduce legislation to allow abortion in certain cases in Ireland.
The Life Institute is criticising the Taoiseach Enda Kenny for breaking a pre-election promise.
The Pro-life group said that if the government goes ahead with the abortion legislation, it will "make sure every Irish person understands that Fine Gael is now the abortion party".
Meanwhile, the Iona Institute said that a move to allow terminations in cases where there is deemed to be a threat of suicide would be wrong and unnecessary.
Spokesperson Maria Steen said that abortion is not the solution for pregnant women who feel suicidal: