Ireland's government buildings at Leinster House

Irish parliament rejects bill that would have legalized abortion

By  Catholic News Service
  • April 19, 2012

DUBLIN - Ireland's parliament rejected legislation that would have allowed a controversial 1992 Supreme Court ruling permitting abortion in limited circumstances to take effect.

The Socialist Party motion was defeated 111-20 April 19.

Following the 1992 court ruling -- known as the X-case -- abortion has been legal in circumstances where there is a substantial risk to the life of the mother. However, successive governments have not enacted legislation to give effect to the ruling, and voters have rejected abortion legislation in a national referendum.

Supporters of the defeated bill said the proposed legislation would have created a legal framework for abortion in Ireland when a woman's life is at risk.

However, pro-life campaigners rejected this, insisting that women are not put at risk by Ireland's ban on abortion.

"Women receive outstanding care when pregnant in this country and Ireland, without abortion, is internationally recognized as one of the safest countries in the world for pregnant women, safer than places like England, where abortion is available up to birth," said Dr. Ruth Cullen of the Pro Life Campaign.

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