Ireland looks set to bring in laws reforming the country's limited ban on abortion in the new year.
The Health Minister James Reilly revealed that the government will make its decision on whether to introduce a combination of legislation and regulations by the end of next month.
An expert group of medics and legal minds tasked with examining options for new rules on termination of pregnancy found that a two-pronged approach is the most effective. Ireland has been gripped by debate on the need for reform of the limited ban on abortion for weeks after it emerged that an Indian dentist living and working in the country died in hospital after suffering a miscarriage and subsequently septicaemia. Savita Halappanavar's family claims she was denied repeated requests for a termination.
Dr Reilly said: "The government decision in relation to this will be made before the end of December and implemented in the new year. He said it was important for everyone to have a chance to debate the issue.