Government Publishes General Scheme of the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013

At its meeting today, the Government approved the drafting of the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013.

It has agreed to refer the General Scheme of the Bill to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children and to request that it should review the Scheme and report on its deliberations to the Minister for Health.

The General Scheme of the Bill is also being published tonight.

The Government established the Expert Group on the Judgement of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of A, B and C v Ireland, in accordance with its commitment in the Programme for Government.

The Report of the Expert Group set out the very many difficult and complex issues which the Government faced in formulating its proposed legislation.

The provisions of the legislation being published are strictly within the parameters of the Constitution and of the Supreme Court Judgement in the X case.

The proposed legislation sets out a clear legal framework for women and for medical practitioners in Ireland.

It will provide legal clarity for the medical profession of the circumstances where a medical termination is permissible where there is a real and substantial risk to the life, as distinct from the health, of a woman as a result of a pregnancy.

A copy of the General Scheme can be found here: