47 amendments on abortion bill as it reaches final stages
The historic law to legalise abortion in Ireland is expected to move a step closer today as it returns to the Seanad for the final stages.
Senators sat until just after 2am on Wednesday to clear the committee stage and the Bill now moves to report and final stage.
However, it is expected up to 47 amendments on the Bill could require attention today - many of which have already been debated at earlier stages in the process.
But hopes remain high the Bill will clear the final hurdle. Discussion on proposed changes to the law at this stage will be more time-limited.
Health Minister Simon Harris, HSE chief medical officer Tony Holohan and Dr Peter Boylan, who has been helping the HSE in getting ready for providing abortion services, attended a meeting with a number of pro-choice senators yesterday to address their concerns about the legislation.
Some of those concerns related to technical wording in the Bill such as the use of the word 'examine' as opposed to 'consult'. Those present discussed the legal, medical and practical reasons behind the wording of the original Bill.
Labour Party Senator Ivana Bacik declined to comment on the meeting afterwards, but said it remains Labour's priority to get the Bill passed today.