Cabinet to get abortion laws update


Minister for Health James Reilly has said a memo on planned abortion legislation will be brought to Cabinet next week and he hoped a new law could be produced before the summer.

Dr Reilly was this afternoon presented with a 1,000 page-report on the three days of hearings of the Oireachtas health committee chaired by Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer earlier this month.

“The Department are working very hard to expedite this. There’s a memo going to Government next week on the policy issues that have been raised. This body of work has helped inform us hugely on where we progress from here,” Dr Reilly said.

Asked when the proposed legislation would be ready, Dr Reilly said: “I want it done as quickly as possible. I was hoping obviously that we will have something very substantial before Easter and that remains my hope.”

Asked if the planned law would be ready before the summer, he said: “I think in an ideal world that’s what I’d like to see, but I mean I can’t foresee all the difficulties and potholes along the road between here and there.”

Dr Reilly said it would be a “very, very complex piece legislation”.

He said the Oireachtas hearings had informed people, some of whom had changed their views about the issue. He praised Mr Buttimer and the Opposition health spokesmen, Billy Kelleher of Fianna Fil and Sinn Féin’s Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin for their conduct during the hearings.

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