Thursday, January 31, 2013

Abortion laws could be in place by summer, signals Reilly memo on looming legislation to comply with the X case ruling is to be brought to Cabinet next week.

The move came after Oireachtas health committee chairman, Jerry Buttimer, presented the minister with a 1,000-page report containing submissions presented to TDs and senators during three days of hearing last month, but does not contain any specific recommendations.

Dr Reilly said the matter was a priority for the Cabinet.

“The [health] department are working very hard to expedite this. There’s a memo going to Government next week on the policy issues that have been raised. This body of work has helped inform us hugely on where we progress from here.

“I want it done as quickly as possible. I was hoping obviously that we will have something very substantial before Easter and that remains my hope.”

Dr Reilly said he would like the proposed legal reform that would allow terminations when there is a substantial risk to the mother’s life, including suicide, to be ready for the summer.

Questioned whether he would like to see the law, which he said would be a “very, very complex piece of legislation”, in place before the July recess, Dr Reilly said: “I think in an ideal world that’s what I’d like to see, but I mean I can’t foresee all the difficulties and potholes along the road between here and there.”

Some Fine Gael TDs have expressed concern about the suicide risk definitions of any legislation.

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