The Cabinet will announce today that a combination of legislation and regulations will be required to comply with the Supreme Court decision on abortion in the X case.

The decision to follow this route – the fourth option from the expert group on abortion – will result in a legislative framework that will adhere to the key 1992 ruling, a senior source confirmed yesterday.

This is expected to allow the fear of suicide as a ground for abortion but may not provide for rape or sexual abuse, neither of which formed part of the X-case ruling. On foot of the decision, the Government is also expected to repeal provisions in the Offences against the State Act 1861, which criminalises abortion.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and a Minister of State yesterday all but confirmed the Government would follow the legislative route, rather than proposing guidelines, an option favoured by anti-abortion campaign groups. Minister for Health James Reilly will present a memorandum to this morning’s Cabinet meeting, with a decision expected in the afternoon.

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THE expert group has confirmed the obvious. Legislation with regulations represents the best way to implement the European Court of Human Rights ABC judgment. It is "constitutionally, legally and procedurally sound". Primary legislation would provide for the drafting of regulations to deal with detailed matters such as changing medical practices. The legislation would also repeal or amend the 1861 Act which criminalises abortion in this country.

The report helpfully sets out a blueprint for Government as to the content of legislation to clarify the X case test. It addresses key issues, including the specific risk of suicide, by saying a psychiatrist could be required to assess this. As Minister for Justice Alan Shatter confirmed yesterday, it would be legally impossible to legislate without including suicide risk. The X case test was confirmed by the people in two referendums in 1992 and 2002. You can't legislate for a bit of that test – it would be like being 'a bit' pregnant.

Read full article by Ivana Bacik here
 
 
TWO Labour party ministers have pushed for legislation on the controversial abortion issue.

The expert group report on the issue is due to outline four options about how to allow for abortions where a mother’s life is in danger.

But it has pointed out that only legislation is likely to be able to solve the problem.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn firmly backed legislation as the way forward.

“Anyone who has an interest in this should read the 1861 legislation and look at what that actually says, and I think anyone looking at that will regard that a legislative response would seem to be the most appropriate,” he said.

His colleague, Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte, also took the same approach.

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