Ireland’s parliament is to discuss a change to the country’s strict anti-abortion laws ahead of an April vote on the issue.

Deputies will debate a private member’s bill that would allow Irish women limited access to abortion.

The bill will be introduced to the parliament by the Socialist Party deputy Clare Daly.

She proposes a new law to make it legal for a woman to access an abortion when her life is in "real and substantial" danger.

The vote on the bill won’t occur until April but deputies are set to discuss it at length this week.



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The debate follows calls from some 50 groups for the government to introduce new legislation to mark the 20th anniversary of the X case.

There was massive public outcry in 1991 when a High Court injunction barred a 14-year-old victim of rape to travel to Britain to access an abortion.

Following the protests, the Supreme Court ruled the abortion legal if there was a real and substantial threat to the life of the girl.

Various deputies, including Daly, and women’s’ rights groups have since urged the government to legislate on abortion following the 1992 ruling but no new law has been introduced.

Abortion pro-choice campaigners outside Dublin's High CourtJulien Behal/PA