Abortion legislation passed by Dáil

Subject to much debate in recent weeks
  • Deborah Condon

Legislation allowing for the provision of abortion services in Ireland has passed through the Dáil.

The Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill will now proceed to the Seanad.

Ninety TDs voted in favour of the legislation, 15 voted no and there were 12 abstentions.

"We pass this Bill today just six months after the people had their say. I look forward to a time, not far away now, when we will be able to assure women experiencing crisis pregnancies that they will be looked after here at home, where they need not fear that they will be stigmatised for their choices or lack the support they and their families need from our health service," commented the Minister for Health, Simon Harris.

The legislation had been subject to many hours of debate over recent weeks, and some minor amendments have been made. For example, it will be reviewed after three years rather than five, as originally planned.

The legislation was able to be introduced following the referendum on the Eighth Amendment in May of this year. Some 66% of people voted in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment, which acknowledged the right to life of the unborn, equating it with the right to life of its mother. This, in effect, prohibited abortion in this country.

The Government is hoping to introduce abortion services nationwide in January 2019.

 


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