Cabinet to get 'verbal update' on abortion


Minister for Health James Reilly will today give a “verbal update” to the Cabinet, rather than present a more formal memorandum to ministerial colleagues on his proposed legislation for abortion in limited circumstances.

As differences emerged over the weekend between the two Coalition parties over how to establish the risk of suicide, it was agreed that Dr Reilly would delay presenting the memorandum to Cabinet.

A spokesman said yesterday that the next time Dr Reilly would address the abortion issue at a Cabinet meeting, it would be to bring the memorandum forward containing draft legislation or “Heads of Bill”.

Degree of consultation

However, no indication has been given as to how long the delay will be. The tensions are understood to relate primarily to the degree of expert medical consultation that would be required before an abortion could be deemed lawful under the grounds of a threat of self-destruction.

Five specialists

There were suggestions that one iteration of the proposed legislation suggested that as many as five medical specialists would need to be consulted.

Labour sources described that as unrealistic and not practical.

The same criticism was yesterday made by United Left Alliance TDs Clare Daly and Joan Collins.