TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has insisted that the forthcoming abortion legislation is about “saving lives and not ending them”.
It came after Independent TD Mattie McGrath complained that the three days of hearings into the draft legislation had been “wasted breath” because the Government was not going to make any changes.
But Mr Kenny said the bill was required to provide legal clarity in situations where there was real and substantial risk to life of the mother.
“This bill is about saving lives, not ending them,” he said.
At Leader’s Questions in the Dail, Mr Kenny said that the bill would remain strictly within parameters of the Constitution and the 1992 Supreme Court X Case, which allowed for abortion in the case of a suicidal teenage rape victim. He said that a "medical termination" of a pregnancy would only permitted if the panel of three doctors unanimously certified there was a real threat to the mother’s life.
The heads of the bill are due to be brought to cabinet shortly and it is due to be passed into law by the Dail and Seanad before the end of July.