The Abortion Bill may have to pass one final hurdle after President Higgins last night announced it will be debated by the Council of State.
They will meet at Áras an Uachtaráin next Monday, where they could decide to refer it to the Supreme Court to test its legality under the Constitution.
The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill was delivered to President Higgins yesterday after passing the Seanad on Tuesday, and within hours Áras an Uachtarán issued a statement saying he will discuss its provisions with the Council of State.
The Council is made up of figures including the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, and Chief Justice; former Presidents Robinson and McAleese and the five former Taoisigh.
They will meet at the Áras next Monday to discuss whether or not the Bill, or any of its provisions, should become the 15th Bill to have its legality tested by the Supreme Court.
If the abortion Bill is referred and upheld by the court, it can never be challenged on constitutional grounds again by a citizen in the courtc and it will automatically become law.