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Kenny asks for patience on abortion legislation

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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

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

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has attempted to defuse the latest abortion row by asking people to wait until the outline of the bill dealing with the contentious issue is agreed by Cabinet.

Speaking in Spain, Mr Kenny said: "I would say to everybody: wait until the explanatory memorandum and the heads of bill have been cleared by Government and the opportunity for everybody, both inside and outside the Oireachtas, will then be clear as to their discussions and the input they can make into the bill as it being prepared for the time ahead.

"I haven't spoke to anyone today, I understand the work that was going on was very constructive and progressive and is the intention to have the explanatory memorandum and the heads before Government on Tuesday."

Mr Kenny is meeting with the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The meeting is expected to focus on EU presidency issues. Mr Kenny will travel to Lisbon, Portugal, tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Minister of state Brian Hayes said politicians should wait and see the legislation to be published tomorrow before making up their mind.

"For people to take a position in advance of the legislation self defeats the whole purpose  of the objective here which is to get as much of a consensus as we possibly can," he said at the unveiling of a new statue in the Botanic Gardens this evening.

"The government had a responsibility to resolve the issue and to give certainty to women and their doctors on this issue."

He said he did not see the legislation laying the foundation for an abortion regime and said they had to make sure it reflected the reality of the constitution and the law

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