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Shareholders in private hospitals threaten legal action to block abortion laws

Minority shareholders in some private hospitals are threatening to block the new abortion laws in the courts.

They have outlined their demands in a letter to the Oireachtas Health Committee, saying they want their religious beliefs protected without being financially disadvantaged.

Louise O'Reilly

They want to be bought out at market value if their hospital begins carrying out abortions.

Sinn Féin health spokesperson Louise O'Reilly says she was not expecting the backlash.

"I found it quite shocking given the depth of feeling that was so obviously expressed at the referendum that somebody would seek to interfere in that way on behalf of themselves as minority shareholders," said Ms O'Reilly.

She says that she does not believe that their plans will delay the legislation.

"I don't believe that they have the basis to challenge it, to be honest," said the Sinn Féin spokesperson.

"I don't see any reason why it should delay passage of the legislation.

"I think all the parties in the Dáil have indicated the willingness to facilitate the legislation getting through as quickly as possible."

Digital Desk