September 2, 2014
DUBLIN (AP) - Ireland's lawmakers were supposed to have voted already. Will they pass the country's first abortion bill Thursday?
The government of Prime Minister Enda Kenny has stopped predicting when its Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill will face a final vote after an 18-hour debate ran until 5 a.m. (0400GMT) without conclusion. The debate is scheduled to resume Thursday night.
Rival abortion protesters have maintained a round-the-clock vigil for two days outside the parliament entrance. Police have kept them separated, except when an anti-abortion activist flicked Catholic holy water into the ranks of abortion rights protesters.
Ireland outlaws abortion. The bill offers Ireland's first clear rules on when doctors can perform abortions deemed necessary to safeguard the woman's life. Suicide threats would require verification by three doctors, including two psychiatrists.
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