Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said the Cabinet will decide what course to follow on the abortion issue tomorrow and would proceed to act on the issue in the New Year.
Mr Kenny also said that there will not be a free vote on the issue.
He said he did not want to force through any measure but he did not want it to drag on interminably either.
TDs were debating the issue in the Dáil today.
Junior minister Kathleen Lynch said she believed the Government would opt for a mixture of both legislation and regulation on abortion.
Ms Lynch said when the Government does make its decision, it will not meet the expectation of the vast majority of Irish people.
She said all the Government can do is legislate and regulate in such a restrictive manner that there will be a future case that will demand our attention then.
Ms Fitzgerald said the illusion that there is no abortion in Ireland needs to be stopped.
She said this existed because our close neighbour is providing the service to 4,000 Irish women every year.
Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy said the Government had to act on the issue, and said it was not enough to say that someone had a right to travel.
Mr Murphy said that while he was against abortion, he was in favour of a free vote on the issue.
Labour TD Michael Conaghan said that he favours the availability of abortion in limited circumstances, but said he thinks “killing babies is wrong”.
He said that this was about women’s health and that when the mother’s life is at risk, we must choose on the side of the mother’s life.
Meanwhile, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health Anand Grover has said abortion should be an option for women where their health is affected and not only where the life of the mother is at risk.
Speaking to RTÉ News, Mr Grover said he is concerned about the health of women around the world, but in particular the health of women in Ireland following the death of Savita Halappanavar.
Ms Halappanavar, who was 17 weeks pregnant, died at University Hospital Galway following a miscarriage.
The rapporteur, who is currently in Ireland, said that what happened to her “would never happen in India”.
Elsewhere, In a statement this evening the Pro-Life campaign has warned Government that if legislation for the X case is introduced that it will lead to abortions ‘on demand’.
Dr Ruth Cullen said that “Claims that legislation for the X case is a compromise between pro-choice and pro-life sides is nothing more than a political ploy to make any legislation appear restrictive.”
She continued; “The reality is, however, that any legislation for the X case would blur the distinction between life saving medical interventions in pregnancy and induced abortion, the sole aim of which is to intentionally end the life of the baby.”
Separately, the Life Institute has slammed UN Rapporteur comments as “wholly offensive and inaccurate”.
Spokeswoman for Life Institute Niamh Uí Bhriain said that Mr Anand should withdraw his remarks.
She said the comments were a “grave insult to Ireland, to her people, and to the excellent maternal health care specialist who have made Ireland one of the safest places in the world for a mother to have a baby”.
She added that if the Minister for Health, James Reilly, “had any respect for our doctors he would demand that Mr Anand apologise for the his wholly offensive and inaccurate remarks.”
SOME 30,000 printed copies of the children’s rights referendum Bill will have to be pulped after a misprint suggested the proposed constitutional amendment related to the article protecting the right to life.
The copies erroneously stating an amendment to article 40 of the Constitution was proposed were sent to post offices across the country so they could be made available to members of the public.
Article 40 is of particular concern to anti-abortion campaigners because it contains a statement that the State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn.
The referendum actually proposes to insert article 42A, entitled Children, into the Constitution, aiming to protect children at risk and make it easier for the children of married parents to be adopted.
A spokeswoman for the Department of the Environment confirmed that about 30,000 copies of the Bill containing the misprint had been distributed after a “limited” print run took place.
“There was an issue and the printers will rectify the situation as soon as possible. The correct version of the Bill will be circulated to all post offices in the coming days,” she said.
The spokeswoman insisted there would be no cost to the taxpayer and said new versions would be produced “at the printer’s expense”.
She said the error was in the title page and the text of the Bill was correct, while the correct version was available to view on the Oireachtas website.
Fianna Fáil Senator Jim Walsh, a long-time “pro-life” campaigner, said he had been contacted by people who spotted the error. “It certainly caused alarm, particularly among people who would be concerned about amendments being made to article 40,” said Mr Walsh.
However, he accepted the error was an “honest mistake”.
Ms Shortall resigned her junior ministry three days ago following months of conflict with Mr Reilly.
Her resignation came after a row over his decision to add a number of locations, including two in his own constituency, to a list of proposed primary healthcare centres.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio, Ms Shortall described the decision by Mr Reilly to include the two centres as stroke politics.
She also said that she felt let down by her colleagues in the Labour Party and that party leader Eamon Gilmore had backed Mr Reilly and not her.
Ms Shortall also said that Minister Reilly blocked many of the reforms that she had tried to implement.
Ms Shortall said she believes Mr Reilly does not subscribe to the Programme for Government and there were fundamental differences between them on how the health service should develop.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Mr Gilmore were present at a meeting between Ms Shortall and Mr Reilly, but it failed to resolve the issues.
Ms Shortall also said that Cathal Magee was “driven out of his job” as HSE Chief Executive.
Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald has defended Minister Reilly following Ms Shortall’s criticism.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio, Ms Fitzgerald said she believed that there was nobody more committed to reforming the health service than Mr Reilly.
She said that the Government will deliver on its commitments in the area of primary care.
Ms Fitzgerald said reforms were being pursued but could not be delivered overnight.
Fianna Fáil’s Billy Kelleher said Ms Shortall’s comments provided “an insight into the malaise” in the Department of Health.
Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald has denied suggestions that the Government is leaving it to the last minute to agree and publish the wording for the children’s referendum.
Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald has confirmed that various allowances for pensioners will be looked at and confirmed that free travel for pensioners is under review. However, she insisted that as of now the Government has made no decision yet on next year’s Budget.
the IMF is due to publish a report tomorrow which is expected to push for universal social welfare reform as well as the speedy introduction of the property tax.
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