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Tuesday 19 September 2017

Reilly: I will suspend abortion services if they are abused

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

HEALTH Minister James Reilly says he will have no problem suspending abortion services in certain hospitals if he feels they are being abused.

Dr Reilly opened the Dail debate on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, the first steps towards the Government passing the contentious abortion legislation.

The Minister for Health will get an annual report on how the legislation is being used, including the number of terminations carried out.

However, Dr Reilly says he will have no problem suspending services if he feels they are being abused.

He first suggested he would suspend the entire bill, but later clarified his comments and said he meant abortions in hospitals or health facilities.

"If the bill is abused, I will have the power to suspend it and I will not be afraid to use that power," Dr Reilly said in his initial remarks.

He later added: "Any attempt to abuse this legislation will be thwarted."

Fianna Fail health spokesman Billy Kelleher said he will be supporting the bill personally, after party leader Micheal Martin granted his TDs a free vote.

Mr Kelleher said he did not think the proposals would lead to abortion on demand.

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