LUCINDA Creighton is to push for further changes to the Government's contentious abortion legislation before it goes to a Dail vote.
The European Affairs Minister is to hold talks with Health Minister James Reilly on Monday and has again refused to say whether she will support the abortion measures.
Three Fine Gael TDs have pledged to oppose the bill while a number of others, including Ms Creighton and her husband Senator Paul Bradford, have expressed grave reservations.
Ms Creighton yesterday admitted that she had requested more time for the abortion debate so that she could speak on the issue.
But she has again refused to be drawn on whether she will vote against the Government – a move that would cost Ms Creighton her ministry.
"It's no secret I requested some time because not just I, but a number of ministers, have been tied up in negotiations this week.
"I wanted to ensure that all of us who wanted to speak would have the opportunity and the chief whip kindly agreed to the request.
"So I'll be speaking on the legislation next week and I'll be expressing some views I think, they're fairly well known at this stage, but I think it's important for all members of the Oireachtas to do that."
The Dublin South East TD added: "I haven't at any point, made any declaration about my voting intentions or at any point tried to somehow threaten any member of Government or indeed any member of the Oireachtas.
"I'm simply trying to play my part as a member of parliament in influencing the outcome of the legislation."
Fine Gael sources last night said there are still a sizeable number of TDs and senators who are considering whether to vote against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.
Three TDs – Billy Timmins, Peter Mathews and Brian Walsh – have so far publicly stated that they will oppose the measures.
A number of other TDs and senators have grave reservations about the inclusion of a suicide clause in the legislation – which would allow suicidal pregnant women to undergo terminations after assessment.