Ireland to OK Abortion to Save Mom's Life
Church attacks proposed abortion bill
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2012 2:24 AM CST
Updated Dec 19, 2012 5:39 AM CST
A woman holds a picture of Savita Halappanava during a vigil in Ireland. Halappanava died of blood poisoning after suffering a miscarriage.   (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

(Newser) – Ireland is taking a fresh look at its abortion laws after the death of a woman denied a potentially life-saving abortion. The government has pledged to bring in a law that will allow women to have an abortion if their lives are in danger, including, controversially, from their own threats to commit suicide, the AP reports. Abortions to save the mother's life are already technically legal in Ireland under a court ruling, but there are no clear guidelines in place, leaving doctors wary of performing abortions even when necessary.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny—a conservative Catholic—says lawmakers who refuse to support the abortion bill will risk being expelled from the party. The Catholic Church's four Irish archbishops issued a statement demanding the government drop suicide threats from the grounds for granting abortions, and urging Kenny to allow his party's lawmakers to vote freely. "The lives of untold numbers of unborn children in this state now depend on the choices that will be made by our public representatives," the archbishops wrote.

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Showing 3 of 21 comments
Dec 20, 2012 4:19 PM CST
Ireland should take it into the 21st century & finally take medical decisions out of the hands of clerics & fanatics. Medical decisions should solely be the province of doctors and their patients.
Dec 19, 2012 12:07 PM CST
Congrats Ireland!!! Welcome to the 19th century.
Dec 19, 2012 11:39 AM CST
To let any Religion define the law in a country is idiocy of the highest order. To listen to the Catholic church tell it, the abortion rate in Ireland is going to explode, and rise dramatically. What does that suggest to you about what the church leaders think the effect of the church is on the decisions ordinary people make? That's right, the Catholic's own leaders don't think Catholics will obey the Chuch's teachings on abortion. That's why they want to maintain a strong civil law against abortion. Maybe if their doctrine wasn't out of the Iron Age and their leaders weren't so morally bankrupt, people would pay more attention to them.