Cabinet expected to sign off on abortion legislation this morning

The bill will not come before the Oireachtas until after the summer

Cabinet expected to sign off on abortion legislation this morning

Yes campaigners with their posters celebrating at Dublin Castle, 26-05-2018. Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews

The Cabinet is expected to sign off on the legislation that would legalise abortion this morning.

However the bill will not be introduced into the Oireachtas until after the summer recess due to a number of legal challenges to the referendum result.

The legislation is understood to be in line with the General Scheme published before the referendum in May.

It will allow for termination for any reason up to the twelfth week of pregnancy - and in limited circumstances after that.

Safe zones

It is also thought to include plans for safe zones around areas where abortions are carried out to ban protests near them.

This would block protesters from hanging posters or demonstrating close to those areas.

It is seen as a direct response to the graphic abortion posters seen outside some maternity hospitals during the referendum campaign.

Cost

It is understood Minister Harris will also stress that cost should not be a barrier to accessing a termination.

The legislation can't be introduced before the summer break because of a number of legal challenges to the referendum result.

However, government sources remain confident the new laws can be in place before the start of next year.