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Thursday 22 March 2018

Abortion law agreed by Government

Enda Kenny has defended his decision not to allow a free vote on the abortion Bill
Enda Kenny has defended his decision not to allow a free vote on the abortion Bill
Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny says the Government has reached agreement on the abortion legislation.

Mr Kenny said the discussions at Cabinet today were "very constructive and very coherent".

The Taoiseach said the legislation will be published this evening.

"The discussions were very constructive and very coherent and in keeping with the objective of the Government here," he said.

Mr Kenny was speaking on his way into the launch of a report by the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland entitled 'The Case for Investing in Europe'.

After two meetings today, the Cabinet's deliberations on the legislation finished just before 2pm.

The legislation is expected to be published tonight, possibly at around 8pm.

Among the items that had to be resolved include:

• A definition of institutions where abortions will be carried out;

• What psychiatrists will be involved in assessments of suicidal pregnant women;

• A criminal offence of carrying out an illegal abortion.

There will be no sunset clause on the legislation and the only review was already written into the original draft.

The HSE and individual hospitals will report on an annual basis on the number of abortions carried out and number of appeals of decisions not to grant a termination.

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