Labour triumphant over abortion laws pledge

A TRIUMPHANT Labour Party is declaring victory on abortion policy following a historic Coalition decision to bring in new laws – which has angered some in Fine Gael, writes Fionnan Sheahan.

Labour proclaimed repeatedly it had delivered on its promise to legislate for the X Case, which a senior Fine Gael figure privately said was "sickening".

Labour issued no less than seven separate statements from party figures hailing the Government's decision.

However, the celebratory tone did not go down well with many members of their coalition partners Fine Gael, which is facing internal turmoil over how the legislation is worded.

Health Minister James Reilly said he was conscious of the sensitivities of the contentious issue, but said that ensuring the safety of pregnant women was a priority.

"We will clarify in legislation and regulation what is available by way of treatment to a woman when a pregnancy gives rise to a threat to a woman's life," Dr Reilly said.

"We will also clarify what is legal for the professionals who must provide that care while at all times taking full account of the equal right to life of the unborn child."

Nowhere in its statement did the Government refer directly to suicide. However, the Supreme Court ruling on the X Case cited the threat of suicide as a legitimate risk to life, giving grounds for abortion.