McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Features

May 2, 2013

Ireland legislates for limited abortion after woman's death

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — Ireland's government published outline legislation allowing for abortion in limited circumstances, including when doctors agree a pregnant woman is at risk of suicide, in what Prime Minister Enda Kenny said is an attempt to bring "clarity" to the state's position on the practice.

Two doctors must agree a real and substantial risk to the life of a woman exists during pregnancy to approve a termination, according to government documents published in Dublin late Tuesday. In cases in which risk of suicide is a factor, three doctors must agree.

"This is an issue that has been very divisive for over 30 years," Kenny said Wednesday. "The law on abortion in Ireland is not being changed. The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill will at last bring certainty to pregnant women and legal clarity to medical personnel who work within the system."

Successive governments, fearing a backlash in a mainly Catholic nation, have avoided introducing laws to fasten down the meaning of a 1992 Supreme Court ruling granting women the right to an abortion when the mother's life is at risk. The case of Savita Halappanavar, who died last year of septicemia after doctors decided not to carry out a termination, reignited the battle over abortion, among the most divisive issues in an increasingly secular society.

Under the proposal, where the risk to a woman's life is immediate, only the "reasonable opinion of one medical practitioner is required." A woman has the right to appeal a decision not to allow an abortion.

"It is not necessary for medical practitioners to be of the opinion that the risk to the woman's life is inevitable or immediate as this approach insufficiently vindicates the pregnant woman's right to life," the government said. "It will always be a matter for the patient to decide if she wishes to proceed with a termination."

Anti-abortion activists in Ireland opposed the inclusion of a threat of suicide as grounds for abortion, a move they fear could lead to terminations becoming relatively easily accessible. In a 2002 referendum, voters defeated a proposal to remove suicide as grounds for a termination.

Any person found guilty of acting to cause an abortion outside of the parameters in the proposals may face a 14-year prison sentence under the plan, including the woman concerned.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
NDN Video
Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.