Taoiseach Enda Kenny has ruled out extending the right to an abortion to victims of rape.

Mr Kenny told the Dáil that the Government had to stay within the Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, and this did not cover such cases.

He also said he had no intention of playing "party politics" with something as sensitive as the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill.

Mr Kenny was responding to Independent TD John Halligan, who called for a referendum to allow for abortion in cases of rape or foetal abnormalities.

Mr Halligan said it was "inhuman and deeply offensive" to tell a woman who has been violated that she must present herself as suicidal in order to get a legal abortion.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore earlier said he expects that amendments to the legislation will be discussed as the bill makes its way through the Oireachtas.