Ireland PM upholds protections for disabled unborn babies

Ireland’s Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, will not end his country’s current ban on abortions of unborn children with non-life-threatening disabilities after twelve weeks.

He spoke up after politician Ruth Coppinger called for further expansion of Ireland’s newly liberalised laws to allow such abortions.

Mr Varadkar said Parliament previously agreed that “disability would not be grounds for the termination of a pregnancy”.

Twelve weeks

Coppinger claimed that women should be able to make decisions about abortions “freely, without barrier or obstruction”.

She is calling on the Irish Government to make abortions after twelve weeks legal for babies with ‘non-fatal’ disabilities.

Abortion is already legal in Ireland for any reason or none up to twelve weeks, or up to birth in cases where the child’s or mother’s life is at risk or for ‘fatal foetal abnormality’.

Status quo

Mr Varadkar said: “A severe abnormality is very often a disability. That is a decision that we made as a house – that we would make that distinction and that disability would not be grounds for terminations after twelve weeks.”

He added that the Irish Parliament has agreed to maintain the new status quo for the next three years, until its next review.

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