Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Breaking News

Washington Post Features

May 2, 2013

Ireland legislates for limited abortion after woman's death

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — Ireland's government published outline legislation allowing for abortion in limited circumstances, including when doctors agree a pregnant woman is at risk of suicide, in what Prime Minister Enda Kenny said is an attempt to bring "clarity" to the state's position on the practice.

Two doctors must agree a real and substantial risk to the life of a woman exists during pregnancy to approve a termination, according to government documents published in Dublin late Tuesday. In cases in which risk of suicide is a factor, three doctors must agree.

"This is an issue that has been very divisive for over 30 years," Kenny said Wednesday. "The law on abortion in Ireland is not being changed. The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill will at last bring certainty to pregnant women and legal clarity to medical personnel who work within the system."

Successive governments, fearing a backlash in a mainly Catholic nation, have avoided introducing laws to fasten down the meaning of a 1992 Supreme Court ruling granting women the right to an abortion when the mother's life is at risk. The case of Savita Halappanavar, who died last year of septicemia after doctors decided not to carry out a termination, reignited the battle over abortion, among the most divisive issues in an increasingly secular society.

Under the proposal, where the risk to a woman's life is immediate, only the "reasonable opinion of one medical practitioner is required." A woman has the right to appeal a decision not to allow an abortion.

"It is not necessary for medical practitioners to be of the opinion that the risk to the woman's life is inevitable or immediate as this approach insufficiently vindicates the pregnant woman's right to life," the government said. "It will always be a matter for the patient to decide if she wishes to proceed with a termination."

Anti-abortion activists in Ireland opposed the inclusion of a threat of suicide as grounds for abortion, a move they fear could lead to terminations becoming relatively easily accessible. In a 2002 referendum, voters defeated a proposal to remove suicide as grounds for a termination.

Any person found guilty of acting to cause an abortion outside of the parameters in the proposals may face a 14-year prison sentence under the plan, including the woman concerned.

 

1
Text Only
Washington Post Features
  • Search teams will send unmanned sub to look for missing Malaysian airliner

    Teams searching for a missing Malaysian airliner are planning for the first time to send an unmanned submarine into the depths of the Indian Ocean to look for wreckage, an Australian official leading the multi-nation search said Monday.

    April 15, 2014

  • DayCareCosts.jpg Day care's cost can exceed college tuition in some states

    Most parents will deal with an even larger kid-related expense long before college, and it's a cost that very few of them are as prepared for: day care.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10 tips for surviving a severe allergy season

    My colleague Brady Dennis reported recently that the arrival of warmer weather will soon unleash a pollen tsunami in parts of the country where the winter has been especially long and cold. Here are some survival tips from Clifford W. Bassett, an allergy specialist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.

    April 9, 2014

  • news_twitter.jpg Travelers fly on Air Twitter

    The enlightened age of social media has dawned over the airline industry, casting shadows over telephone call centers and on-site agents. Facebook and Twitter are racking up the friends and followers while the hold music plays on.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • To get quality care, it helps to be the right kind of patient

    I am a family physician. Sometimes I must step out of the comfort of my clinical role and into that of patient or family caregiver. Generally, these trips to the other side of the exam table inspire a fair amount of anxiety.

    April 8, 2014

  • Fast, cheap test can help save lives of many babies

    As Easley did more research into her daughter's death, she learned that a pilot program had started just months earlier at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md. (Easley had delivered at a different hospital in the Washington area.) The program's goal was to screen every newborn with a simple pulse oximeter test that can help detect heart problems such as Veronica's, allowing doctors to respond.

    April 8, 2014

  • At many leading schools, football fails to make cut

    To my astonishment, 67 of the top 100 schools, ranked by participation in college-level tests, said they do not field a team, denoting a shift in American high school culture, at least in those schools that challenge their students most.

    April 7, 2014

  • pizza-300x216.jpg VIDEO: Pepperoni, extra cheese and...pot?

    A Vancouver pizzeria has added a unique item to its menu: Customers with a prescription can order pizza infused with marijuana.

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • For April Fools' Day: A sampling of scientific hoaxes over the centuries

    Speaking of jokes, in honor of April Fools' Day, Discovery magazine's Jonathon Keats briefly recounts some scientific hoaxes perpetrated over the centuries. His catalogue of cons includes "Aristotle's Masterpiece," a 17th-century mishmash of bogus medical texts and sex advice that remained in publication for 200 years.

    April 1, 2014

  • touch.jpg Divorce is on the rise, and it's the baby boomers' fault

    A new paper from demographers at the University of Minnesota found that the age-standardized divorce rate has actually risen by an astonishing 40 percent since 1980.

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Business Marquee
College Sports
Pro Sports
Facebook