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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 21 November, 2014

Oireachtas committee gives Reilly 1,642-page report on abortion hearings

Some light reading for the Minister for Health.

Jerry Buttimer gives James Reilly his committee's report following its first hearings in January. A second report, extending to over 1,600 pages, has been handed over today.
Jerry Buttimer gives James Reilly his committee's report following its first hearings in January. A second report, extending to over 1,600 pages, has been handed over today.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE OIREACHTAS COMMITTEE on Health and Children has submitted its report on the draft abortion legislation to the Minister for Health, James Reilly.

The 1,642-page report summarises the evidence given to the committee during its hearings on the heads of the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill 2013, held earlier this month.

The report does not make any formal recommendation on any of the bill’s contents, however.

In the foreward to the report, committee chairman Jerry Buttimer (Fine Gael) said the committee had decided to concentrate on the legal and medical issues raised by the heads of bill.

“We have been greatly assisted by many experts who have voluntarily given of their time so that they could share their knowledge, experience and views,” he said.

Buttimer warned that some of the issues would “need further consideration”.

As well as the expert testimony offered at hearings, the report also encompasses submissions from interest groups and members of the public since the committee’s first report on proposals to legislate for X was submitted earlier this year.

Buttimer said the three days of hearings had served as “another example of how our parliament can function”.

“Members of the Oireachtas are capable of holding detailed hearings on sensitive and political matters in a respectful and tolerant manner.”

The report will now be considered by the Department of Health before the final draft of the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill is published.

The government has said it hopes to have the legislation passed through the Dáil and Seanad, and enacted into law, before the Dáil’s summer break.

The report can be read online in two parts, which can be accessed here and here.

Read: Fianna Fáil TDs and Senators to have free vote on abortion bill

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