A Bill to amend Ireland’s abortion law to decriminalise the provision of abortion in Ireland has passed its first stage in the Dáil.
The Bill, which would also abolish the 3-day waiting period for abortion and would permit the abortion of unborn babies prenatally diagnosed with a life-limiting condition without a set gestational time limit, now proceeds to the second stage of the legislative process.
The Bill seeks to decriminalise abortion here in line with the World Health Organisation’s “reckless” and “extreme” abortion guidelines, updated last year, which seek to remove all gestational limits on abortion. The introduction of the Bill in the Dáil comes almost five years after abortion campaigners here welcomed the Repeal of Ireland’s eighth amendment prohibiting abortion – after firmly assuring wavering voters that abortions would only be performed up to 12 weeks’ gestation and not beyond.
During stage two, the general principles of the Bill will be debated. Members of the Dáil will be allocated a limited amount of time to make a statement on the law the Bill would create, and may also suggest other provisions they would like to be included in the Bill. Following this, the Bill has the potential to proceed to Committee Stage.
The Private Members’ Bill, put forward by Brid Smith, is sponsored by Smith, along with fellow TDs Paul Murphy, Gino Kenny, and Richard Boyd Barrett.
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