The coalition government’s bill was released to the public yesterday and includes no restrictions on gestational age limits, allowing abortions to be carried out through all nine months of pregnancy.
The draft legislation says it is not an offense to take action “as a result of which unborn human life is ended.” Under the current law, it is possible for a doctor to induce early labor if it is medically warranted to save the mother’s life, but they are required to give equal consideration to the life of both mother and child. The new bill will allow doctors to act directly to end the life of the child, based only on a demand for abortion, backed up by a threat of suicide.
Former minister of State for primary care Róisín Shortall has said she finds “abhorrent” the lack of gestational time limits in proposed abortion legislation within which terminations should be allowed in cases where the woman is suicidal.
Ms Shortall, who has lost the Labour Party whip, called for a referendum on the matter to be held in October.
“I think I would speak for the majority of people in saying I would find the absence of a gestational time limit abhorrent,” she said