Gilmore Welcomes Abortion Legislation


The Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has welcomed President Michael D Higgins’ decision to sign new abortion legislation into law without referring it to the Supreme Court.

After a brief meeting of The Council Of State, Higgins opted to sign the Protection Of Life In Pregnancy Bill into law, much to the delight of Labour party leader Gilmore.

Speaking of the history changing decision  , he said

“The decision of President Michael D. Higgins to sign 2013 is a key milestone in Irish Law.The enactment of this legislation, 21 years after the Supreme Court ruling on the X Case, is a historic moment, particularly for the women of Ireland.
The core purpose of this legislation is about saving women’s lives. It is about providing for a very basic human right.

It has been a long time coming. Thirty years have passed since the 1983 amendment which undertook to protect the equal right to life of the unborn child and the mother. It has been 21 years since the X Case that tested it. Ten years after the X Case, it was left to another woman to ask the courts – and not her doctors – to determine the treatment she was entitled to in the case of a risk to her life. This was Miss C, a cancer patient in remission, who successfully appealed to the European Court of Human Rights. That is the judgement, to which this Government pledged to respond.

More recently, the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar highlighted the legal uncertainty faced by doctors in dealing with medical emergencies where the life of a woman is at risk.
I am proud that this Government has succeeded in enacting a law to protect women’s lives in pregnancy and bringing legal clarity in circumstances where there was hitherto a great deal of uncertainty. ”

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