Abortion bill moves to next stage in Seanad

Senator Lynn Ruane said there was a "pressing need" to get the bill passed before Christmas

Abortion bill moves to next stage in Seanad

Photo: Laura Hutton/RollingNews.ie

The bill to allow abortions in Ireland has been moved on to the next stage in the Seanad.

Senators voted it through second stage this evening and it's expected to pass all other stages next week.

The legislation will allow abortions for up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy, and in very limited circumstances - such as when there is a risk to the life of the pregnant woman - after that.

The Government is hopeful the bill will be passed before Christmas after it made it through all stages in the Dáil late last night.

Pro-choice senators said they were working to ensure the bill is passed and signed into law before Christmas.

Senator Lynn Ruane said: "There is a pressing need to get this bill passed to allow for services to start in January - but we also want to ensure that we have a chance to properly debate and air any concerns we may have over its provisions."

The Seanad will hold a special Monday sitting to continue the debate.

Meanwhile, Independent Senator Ronan Mullen spoke out against the proposed laws this afternoon.

The pro-life senator argued: "The politicians here want to create some notion of a right to choose that completely disregards an innocent, invisible but no less human creature.

"I hope and believe there will be a better day when we will find a way to heal the breaches that have been created here in this destructive, destructive law."