Law lecturer Jennifer Schweppe of the University of Limerick said once a fetus is viable "every effort should be made to safely deliver the child, unless to do so would place the woman's life at risk," The Irish Times reported Wednesday.
She added that the mental health of the mother should also be considered.
Schweppe's testimony came during the second day of hearings by the Oireachtas health committee on the government's decision to legalize abortion in limited circumstances.
Barrister and former physician Simon Mills presented the committee with a draft bill that he said deals with termination in cases of risk to life.
Mills said the measure had specific safeguards to take into account including concerns over threats of suicide.
It also covered terminations in cases of lethal fetal abnormality, he said.
Pope Benedict XVI has expressed "dismay" at the proposed introduction of abortion legislation in Ireland.