Abortion in Ireland has been officially legalised.
After much consideration, President Michael D. Higgins signed the new legislation on abortion today.
Higgins previously reviewed the Health Bill 2018 (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) and decided this was the best foot forward for the country.
Having considered the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018, the President has signed the Bill and it has accordingly become law.
— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) December 20, 2018
According to The Independent, the final steps will be taken by Health Minister Simon Harris, an avid advocate for the bill’s passing, tomorrow.
He said he needs to sign a number of legal instruments to enact the law.
The new law is well-received by a number of Irish citizens that have been fighting for their right to decriminalise abortion.
Abortion services will begin in January and the legislation will allow for unrestricted medical abortion up to twelve weeks.
It will also legalise abortion for women facing tragic situations, whose unborn baby has been diagnosed with a fatal foetal abnormality.
One year to the day since the Oireachtas Committee reported, President Higgins has signed the Termination of Pregnancy Bill into law. Historic day. https://t.co/I3IlmrjCKw
— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) December 20, 2018
Now, mothers who face a risk to life or serious harm to their health will have access to abortion as well.
Abortion services will be free to all women.
The government has also established a counselling helpline and directions to the nearest service provider from January 1.
This law has broken boundaries and progressed life for women in Ireland farther than ever before.