Ireland's Cabinet weighs options on abortion laws
(AP)—Ireland published an experts' report Tuesday recommending that the government define when a woman in a life-threatening pregnancy can receive an abortion, a major national issue since the death last month of an Indian woman in an Irish hospital.
The report represents Ireland's slow official response to a 2010 European Court of Human Rights ruling that existing Irish laws did not ensure that women in life-threatening pregnancies could receive an abortion.
Ireland has a constitutional ban on abortion, but such terminations have been technically legal in Ireland since a 1992 Irish Supreme Court ruling. Several governments since have refused to pass backing legislation, leaving doctors unsure when they actually can perform them without facing lawsuits or criminal prosecution for murder.
Health Minister James Reilly said the government next month would choose an option outlined in the experts' report. "We will not allow this issue to drag on," he said.
Reilly then accidentally appeared to show the government's hand, saying legislation would be passed "as quickly as possible."
The point is politically significant, because the experts said the government could choose to draft medical regulations that did not require lawmakers' approval. A legislative bill would require the government to deliver a parliamentary majority.
That could be difficult in the mostly Catholic country, which has a constitutional ban on abortion. Reilly's own party, Fine Gael, broadly opposes abortion rights.
After he twice denied saying what he had just actually said, Reilly conceded, "Well then that's obviously a slip of the tongue."
The long-avoided issue has become a matter of public urgency following international outrage over the case of Savita Halappanavar, a woman 17 weeks pregnant who died Oct. 28 one week after being admitted to a Galway hospital suffering from severe pain.
Halappanavar was quickly diagnosed with an imminent miscarriage but doctors refused her pleas for an abortion because the doomed fetus still had a heartbeat. The fetus died Oct. 24, its remains were removed, then Halappanavar fell gravely ill within hours and her organs gradually failed. A coroner determined she died from blood poisoning and the contraction of e.coli bacteria.
Two government-ordered investigations are trying to determine whether the Galway hospital failed in its care and whether Halappanavar's life could have been saved had she received an abortion.
Mark Kelly, director of the rights lobbying group, said the government "should seize the opportunity to thoroughly overhaul Ireland's antediluvian laws on abortion, including by rendering lawful the termination of pregnancies involving fatal fetal abnormalities."
More information: Irish report on abortion policy, bit.ly/SqQDoy
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
- Ireland probes death of ill abortion-seeker (Update) Nov 14, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Doctors, others demand clearer Irish abortion law Nov 15, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Belfast to open Ireland's 1st abortion clinic Oct 11, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Protests as Ireland's 1st abortion clinic opens (Update 2) Oct 18, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Judge says Arizona's abortion ban can take effect (Update) Jul 30, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Calorie information in fast food restaurants used by 40 percent of 9-18 year olds when making food choices
A new study published online today (Thursday) in the Journal of Public Health has found that of young people who visited fast food or chain restaurants in the U.S. in 2010, girls and youth who were obese were more likely ...
Health 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Implementation of systematic monitoring for medication adherence will allow for identification of barriers to adherence and tailoring of interventions, according to a viewpoint piece published ...
Health 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—The Obama administration says more doctors and hospitals are embracing technology as adoption of computerized medical records reaches a "tipping point" in America.
Health 7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Johns Hopkins researchers report that hospitals may be reaping enormous income for patients whose hospital stays are complicated by preventable bloodstream infections contracted in their intensive care units.
Health 8 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A University of Illinois researcher says that the cornerstone of our efforts to alleviate food insecurity should be to encourage more people to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) "because ...
Health 8 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Existing research shows that bicyclists who wear helmets have an 88 percent lower risk of brain injury, but researchers at Boston Children's Hospital found that simply having bicycle helmet laws in place showed a 20 percent ...
7 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Swiss scientists reveal the mechanism responsible for aging hidden deep within mitochondria—and dramatically slow it down in worms by administering antibiotics to the young.
11 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (7) | 0 |
Researchers from Queen Mary, University of London have led the largest sequencing study of human disease to date, investigating the genetic basis of six autoimmune diseases.
11 hours ago | 4 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion—the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.
8 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 2 |
(HealthDay)—Migraines and depression can each cause a great deal of suffering, but new research indicates the combination of the two may be linked to something else entirely—a smaller brain.
7 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
A new approach for immunizing against influenza elicited a more potent immune response and broader protection than the currently licensed seasonal influenza vaccines when tested in mice and ferrets. The vaccine ...
8 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |