DUBLIN: Irish lawmakers voted on Friday to back controversial new legislation that will allow abortion in limited cases, after the death last year of an Indian woman because of complications from her pregnancy.
One junior minister quit her post after voting against the bill, the focus of bitter debate in mainly Catholic Ireland. She faces exclusion from the ruling Fine Gael party.
Weary lawmakers voted through the bill, by 127 to 31 against, after marathon discussions on 165 amendments.
The bill will now go to a vote in the upper house, where the government has a majority.
Abortion laws in Ireland became the focus of global attention and intense debate following the death of 31-year-old Indian woman Savita Halappanavar in a Galway hospital in October.
Halappanavar had sought a termination when told she was miscarrying, but the request was refused as her life was not at risk at the time. She died of blood poisoning days after miscarrying.
The intense media attention and public outrage following Halappanavar’s death encouraged Dublin to introduce legal clarity, rather than guidelines to deal with the European and Supreme Court rulings.
The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill allows for abortion in circumstances where doctors certify there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother, as opposed to a risk to her health.