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20th Dec 2018

Abortion Becomes Legal In Ireland As President Higgins Signs Bill Into Law

Kiara Keane

President Michael D Higgins has signed the bill giving women access to abortion in Ireland for the first time.

The Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill finally passed its final stage in the Seanad after more than two months of debate.

Higgins released a statement via Áras an Uachtaráin today, which read, ‘Having considered the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018, the President has signed the Bill and it has accordingly become law.’

The Irish public voted overwhelmingly to repeal the amendment on May 25 this year, with 66.4% voting to remove it.

Minister for Health Simon Harris called it a ‘historic day’ – he will sign a number of legal instruments to enact the new abortion law from January 1, 2019.

He told The Irish Times, “This is a genuinely historic moment. It paves the way for the implementation of the service for termination of pregnancy in January 2019.

“The passage of the legislation allows for the beginning of a new journey. It is the start of a new era for women’s healthcare.”