Saturday 25 January 2020

No date for Government decision on controversial abortion issue

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

THE Government has avoided giving a specific date for making a decision on the controversial abortion issue.

It has just agreed its response to a Sinn Fein motion calling for immediate legislation to allow for an abortion where the mother's life is at risk.

There had been demands from Labour TDs for a "clear timeline" about dealing with the abortion issue.

However, there is no specific commitment in the motion from the Government to make its decision by a particular date.

The Government counter-motion promises that Health Minister Dr James Reilly will bring the report of the expert group on abortion to next week's Cabinet meeting.

He will recommend that the report will be "published immediately". There will then be a Dail debate in the coming weeks "in advance of the Government decision”.

The Government counter motion expresses sympathy to the family of pregnant Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar (31) and acknowledges the public concern about her death in University College Hospital Galway

It also acknowledges the "complexity and sensitivity" of the issue.

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