Irish government passes exception to abortion ban


Ireland’s Parliament has overwhelmingly passed amended legislation allowing abortion if the mother’s life is at risk.

It passed Friday by a 127-31 vote.

A provision to allow abortion if a pregnant woman is acutely at risk of suicide, opposed by religious lawmakers and church leaders who called it a Trojan horse leading to easy access to abortion, was included in the final bill, the Irish Times reported.

A real and substantial risk of suicide, certified by two psychiatrists and an obstetrician, must be seen, the law says. It also underlines existing Irish laws to protect the fetus, calling for a prison term to intentionally destroy human life, CNN said.

The issue was a matter of intense debate in the heavily Catholic country after 17-weeks-pregnant Savita Halappanavar, 31, died in 2012 after doctors refused to perform a life-saving abortion, due to concerns the law would not allow it.