Medical and legal experts will meet cross-party politicians to make recommendations on draft legislation for new abortion laws.
plans to introduce a combination of legislation and regulation to
legalise the procedure as a last resort to save a pregnant woman's life
will be discussed during three days of public hearings next week.
Committee on Health and Children expects to deliver a report by the end
of the month which will help guide the Government in implementing the
"The committee's hearings will be conducted in a
balanced, fair and calm manner focusing on the issues which need to be
considered in drafting the legislation and regulations," committee
chairman Jerry Buttimer said.
"While we recognise that many people
have divergent and deep-held views on the issues involved, we expect
that the meetings will be held in a manner that is respectful and
Medical practitioners, legal experts, representatives
of churches and religious and advocacy groups will be among those
attending the meetings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Fine Gael TD
Mr Buttimer said he hoped the hearings would help determine what issues
need to be addressed.
The Government revealed plans to reform the
limited ban on abortion last month, which will only allow a pregnancy to
be terminated if there is a real and substantial risk to a woman's
The legislation will be drafted in accordance with the
20-year-old Supreme Court ruling on the X case, which allows for
abortion when a woman's life is in danger - including the threat of
The Government's decision to introduce a combination of
legislation and regulation followed recommendations in an expert group
report in November.
The report was compiled to set out options on how to
respond to a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling on the
so-called ABC case, which found the state violated the rights of a woman
in remission from cancer who was forced to travel abroad to terminate
Its publication also coincided with the tragic
death of pregnant Indian woman Savita Halappanavar, who miscarried 17
weeks into her pregnancy.
The 31-year-old died at Galway University
Hospital on October 28 after contracting septicaemia.
Praveen Halappanavar claimed she had been denied an abortion.