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36th amendment

After months of intensive, divisive campaigning, the Irish majority saw their May referendum vote come to fruition last night. 

Ireland’s constitutional ban on abortion is officially lifted.

The 8th amendment was removed from the Irish Constitution, as President Michael D Higgins signed the formal repeal legislation.  

The signing allowed the 8th Amendment to be replaced in the constitution with the 36th Amendment of the Constitution, which reads:

'Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy.'

As the Amendment says, the government can now make steps to sign legislation allowing abortion up to 12 weeks in Ireland. 

The referendum saw Ireland vote 66.4% to 33.6% to remove the amendment.

More than two million people turned out to vote.

The Abortion Rights Campaign's March for Choice will take place to September 29th, rallying for free, safe and legal abortion access. 

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Last week, Ireland voted unanimously to repeal the 8th amendment to the constitution which forces women abroad to access the full spectrum of reproductive healthcare.

While the majority of Dail members were for repealing the 8th, some party members opposed it's removal.

TDs who opposed intend to lobby for a ‘disability amendment’ to be added to the new legislation to prevent abortion access on the grounds of disability.

These TDs want abortion to no longer be an option to women once such conditions are diagnosed.

Minister for Health Simon Harris has signalled he will oppose the move. 

'TDs are perfectly entitled to bring amendments but it remains the case that the general scheme does not permit termination on grounds of disability, and nor will the final legislation,' a spokesperson for the Health Minister told BreakingNews. 

The Government have committed to providing legal abortion up to 12 weeks for all.

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On Saturday, the people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment, thus allowing the government to legislate for the legal termination of pregnancy. 

Following the historic result, Minister for Health Simon Harris revealed that the new legal framework to replace the Eighth Amendment will be drafted as soon as possible.

During a Dáil  sitting this week, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told members that he plans to have the legislation in place by January 1, 2018. 

'The view of government is that it wants to legislate for the termination of pregnancies as soon as possible,' Varadkar said.

'But we don’t want to rush it either.'

'There will be people who don’t accept this result, and people who will wish to challenge.'

'It’s important that we act with haste, but not with so much haste that we bring through bad legislation.'

Some Dáil  members are calling for the government to forego their summer recess to allow the legislation to be drafted and passed in a timely manner. 

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