Irish lawmakers agonize over abortion vote

DUBLIN (AP) — After decades of delay and months of argument, Ireland’s lawmakers are agonizing over government plans to pass an abortion bill for the first time.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny acceded to lawmakers’ demands for more time to debate the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill. His concession means the vote, scheduled for Wednesday night, won’t happen until early Thursday.

Ireland outlaws abortion. The bill would support a 1992 Supreme Court judgment legalizing abortion in cases where doctors deem a woman’s life at risk from continued pregnancy.

Six previous governments refused to back the judgment. Kenny’s government drafted the bill after a miscarrying woman was refused an abortion and died from blood poisoning.

Kenny enjoys the largest parliamentary majority in Irish history, so the bill’s passage is certain.

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