Health Committee chairman warns against 'hijacking' as abortion hearings begin
on 08/01/2013 08:20:44
Up to 40 submissions will be taken in a listening exercise before the committee reports back to the Government by the end of the month.
The coalition has already decided to legislate for abortion where there is a threat to the life of a woman, including the risk of suicide.
The Government will support the legislation with regulations for medical professionals on how and when they can carry out a termination.
Before the legislation is drafted, the coalition has committed to hearing from various interested parties.
Today medical professionals including the masters of maternity hospitals will be heard.
Tomorrow legal hearings take place, while on Thursday, churches and advocacy groups will have their say.
Health committee chairman, Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer, said: "I hope our hearings will be positive…and that people won't hijack them for political purposes. This is far too serious an issue (for that). It is a complex and sensitive matter."
The committee will report back to the Government by the end of the month, but will not make any recommendations on how the coalition should proceed.