Protesters opposed to abortion hold placards outside the Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Thursday, 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland's Roman Catholic bishops say the public should lobby lawmakers to reject a bill that would allow abortions to save the life of the mother.
The bishops in a statement Friday say the bill represents "a dramatic and morally unacceptable change to Irish law."
Deputy Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore says the bishops are free to express their opinion, but the government intends to pass the bill by July to fulfill rulings by the Irish Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.
Ireland has the most severe restrictions on abortion in Europe. Thousands of Irish abortion-seekers travel annually to England, where abortions have been legal since 1967.
An uproar ensued last year when a woman died from blood poisoning after she was refused an abortion.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to email@example.com. Please provide detailed information.