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Dec 18, 2014 9:26 AM

Irish face new abortion row over brain-dead woman

The Associated Press

DUBLIN (AP) Ireland is debating its constitutional ban on abortion again amid a case involving a brain-dead pregnant woman on life support.

Irish media reported Thursday that family members want to turn off the woman's life support systems but doctors are refusing because the law requires them to defend the right to life of her 16-week-old fetus. Fetuses typically cannot survive outside the womb until around 24 weeks.

An expert on Irish medical law, Dr. Adam McAuley, says Dublin High Court most likely will determine whether the woman will be kept on life support to attempt delivery of the baby.

Ireland last year amended its abortion ban, legalizing the right to a termination if a woman's life is endangered by continued pregnancy.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar says Irish law remains too restrictive.


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