Abortion legislation: what happens next?

Health committee chairman to prepare report for the Government

Oireachtas Health committee chairman, Jerry Buttimer TD (left) and Paul Kelly (clerk) , at the Oireachtas health committee hearings, at Leinster House, Dublin eariler this week.  The report of the discussions on the broad outline of the planned legislation is due to be presented to Government by Thursday, May 30th.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Oireachtas Health committee chairman, Jerry Buttimer TD (left) and Paul Kelly (clerk) , at the Oireachtas health committee hearings, at Leinster House, Dublin eariler this week. The report of the discussions on the broad outline of the planned legislation is due to be presented to Government by Thursday, May 30th. Photograph: Eric Luke

Wed, May 22, 2013, 09:16

The Oireachtas health committee chaired by Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer will now begin compiling a report on the three days of hearings on the heads of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013.

The report of the discussions on the broad outline of the planned legislation is due to be presented to Government by Thursday, May 30th. The Coalition will then reflect on the report before Minister for Health James Reilly publishes the full text of the Bill.

Minister of State for Primary Care Alex White yesterday assured the committee that TDs and Senators would have “further opportunity for parliamentary engagement and input”.

Dr Reilly, Mr White and Minister of State for Equality and Mental Health Kathleen Lynch will be involved in preparing the Bill, along with chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan and senior Department of Health officials.

There will also be interaction with Attorney General Máire Whelan.

The ambition to introduce the legislation before the Dáil summer recess remains in place.

The Bill, once published, must go through five stages, the first being the introduction of the planned legislation to one of the Houses of the Oireachtas, the Dáil or the Seanad. The second stage is a general debate.

During the third or committee stage, members may suggest amendments. New amendments may be proposed at the fourth, or report, stage.

No more changes can be made during the fifth stage.

Where a Bill passes all stages in one House, it goes to the other House where the process begins again from the second stage.