Will not be rushed by pressures: Irish PM on abortion rights

Written by: Pti
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London, Nov 17: With an Indian dentist's tragic death igniting protests over right to abortion in Ireland, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has said he is awaiting a report by an expert group on the issue but will not be rushed into an immediate decision.

Savita Halappanavar

Kenny said his government would go through the report and indicated it will take its own time in arriving at a decision.

Savita Halappanavar, 31, died in an Irish hospital last month after doctors refused to terminate her pregnancy despite telling her that she was miscarrying.

Savita died of blood poisoning after spending three days in pain and agony.

The case has prompted protests in Ireland and calls for right to choice, and the Prime Minister himself asked to see the report into the investigation in the case.

India summoned the Irish Ambassador in New Delhi yesterday to convey its "concern and angst" over the tragic death of Savita and hoped the inquiry instituted into the case would be "independent". Kenny was quoted as saying by state broadcaster RTE News that the report of an expert group will be before the Cabinet on Nov 27 and can be discussed by "everyone else" after it is published.

He said he will not be rushed on the issue of abortion by pressures from any side, according to RTE.

Earlier, Minister for Health James Reilly also suggested the government will take its own time in arriving at any decision as rushing the issue or coming to wrong conclusions can have "disastrous" consequence in the future.

He admitted that right to abortion had long divided opinion in the Catholic country but said his government was determined to deal with it as a sensitive issue.

Amnesty International has written to Reilly over the issue expressing its concern and asking the country to address the gap in law over the issue.

"Successive Irish governments have failed in their duty to provide the necessary clarity on how this right is protected and vindicated, leaving women in Ireland in a very vulnerable position. Government must offer this clarity without further delay," said Colm O'Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International in Ireland.


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