The two Government parties are divided over a European Parliament report criticising some member states over abortion.
The report on fundamental freedoms in the EU will be voted on in Strasbourg this week and raises concerns at restrictions on “safe and legal abortion”.
Fine Gael’s political group in the European Parliament, the European People’s Party, is opposing the report while Labour MEPs, part of the Socialist group, are expected to vote for it. “I would be happy to vote for it . . . everything in this document is in line with Labour Party policy,” said Emer Costello, MEP for Dublin.
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The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers will today assess the Irish government’s action plan on the implementation of abortion law.
"International human rights groups" have contacted the husband of the late Savita Halappanavar and have pledged to help him in his European court battle.
From the Irish Times - 'Taoiseach calls for 'calm' discussion as he pledges swift action on abortion'
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has moved to defuse public controversy and tensions between the Coalition parties over abortion by promising swift action and calling for a “calm, rational and sensitive discussion”.
TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore has ordered Labour ministers to push for action on the controversial abortion issue despite his absence from Cabinet today.
And his party colleague, Education Minister Ruairi Quinn, has warned there will be "consequences" for TDs who vote against the Government on the contentious issue.
The death of Savita Halappanavar has propelled the issue to the top of the political agenda and the Cabinet will today decide on the coalition response to a Sinn Fein motion calling for immediate legislation.
But Mr Gilmore will miss the key meeting as he is attending a crucial gathering of EU foreign affairs ministers in Brussels about agreeing the €1 trillion EU budget for 2014-2020.
A Labour source said its ministers were "very clear" about Mr Gilmore's desire to get legal clarity on abortions when a pregnant mother's life was at risk.
"We want a decision as quickly as possible," the source said.
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The letter expresses shock at Savita Halappanavar’s death and expresses sympathy with her family. It adds: “The tragedy highlights the need for immediate action to introduce legislation for abortion in Ireland. Despite the ruling of the Supreme Court in Ireland in the X case, that abortion should be permitted in cases where the mother’s life is in danger, successive governments have failed to legislate for this. In the A, B and C v Ireland case, the European Court of Human Rights found that Ireland had violated the European Convention on Human Rights by failing to provide an accessible and effective procedure by which a woman can have established whether she qualifies for a legal abortion under current Irish law.
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